Primate Park at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo is a new exterior exhibit. The Zoo’s siamangs, ring tailed lemurs, black and white ruffed lemurs and patas monkeys will rotate using the space. The exhibit includes a waterfall and hot rocks for the primates as well as a unique viewing tunnel for patrons to watch the primates. The building of this animal exhibit is a collaborative effort of a great team including the Concrete Artisans of East Coast Decorative Concrete, Architects from Holmes King Kallquist and Associates, Appel Osborne Landscape Architecture, General Contractor – Bette & Cring Construction Group, O’Brien and Gere Engineers and the amazing Zoo Staff.

Scale models and renderings are used to work out all needed requirements for the animals, maintenance and cleaning staff and visitors prior to the start of construction. With the final design approved; East Coast Decorative Concrete starts work with the rest of the construction team. Faux rocks are carved and placed to create the waterfall and pond area. Additional concrete rocks are formed to include heat mats for the hot rocks that the primates will hang out on and the unique viewing tunnel includes realistic concrete deadfall trees.

A typical lathe and plaster method of structure is used to create these fun features. Rebar is covered with wire mesh and structure coated, next a texture coat is added. Any areas that will be under constant water flow are treated with a waterproofing agent. During the final texture coat small details are added and the whole exhibit is painted and stained with a multitude of colors to blend the new concrete features into the surrounding landscape. For this exhibit Gunnite was used for the structure coat and Carve-Right material was used for all texture coats to create the realistic natural details throughout the exhibit. Aquafin was used as the water proofer and a combination of Smith Paints and Permacrete Concrete Stain were used for color. The work was done in two phases the first phase was the pond and waterfall completed the end of April into May 2010. The second phase included the viewing tunnel and was completed the end of June into July of 2010.

East Coast Decorative Concrete is located in Syracuse, NY and is owned by Concrete Artisan David Abdo and includes a staff of three. For this project East Coast Decorative Concrete also hired on Concrete Artisans Richard Winget, Michael Manone and Michael Vernelson.