Iconic Copenhagen zoo elephant house to be demolished

The Elephant House, one of the most characteristic buildings at Copenhagen Zoo, is set to be torn down to make way for a new panda enclosure.

Iconic Copenhagen zoo elephant house to be demolished
An elephant in the new enclosure after being moved from the Elephant House at Copenhagen Zoo in 2008. File photo: Brian Bergmann/Scanpix

A broad majority of the city and environment committee in the Frederiksberg neigbourhood has voted to approve an application to demolish the temple-like former elephant enclosure, reports TV2.

The left wing Red Green Alliance (Enhedslisten) was the only party to oppose the application, according to the report.

The zoo's elephants have not lived in the Elephant House since 2008, when they were moved to a new enclosure, designed by internationally-reknowned architect Norman Foster, next door.

The Elephant House in 1995. File photo: Bjarke Ørsted/Scanpix

Over thirty consultation responses were received by the commission, including from descendants of the Elephant House’s architect, calling for the building to be preserved.

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“We are fine about voting for the demolition. We support innovative thinking, development and have an open mind about all the opportunities the zoo offers, and that as much as possible is done to make it an attractive attraction not just for tourists in Denmark but across the world. Nothing is sacred for us if new ideas are better and more visionary,” said Laura Lindahl, representative for the Liberal Alliance party on the committee.

The Enhedslisten party had proposed an amendment to the bill which would have seen the decommissioned elephant house demolished in such a way that it could have been reconstructed elsewhere, reports TV2.