MONKEY BUSINESS

In the early summer, returning client ZSL enlisted Glyphics to craft a welcoming sign for the imminent launch of Monkey Valley - a walkthrough experience nestled within a Grade II* listed structure adjacent to Regents Canal, formerly known as the Snowdon Aviary.

This architecturally iconic site, comprising four towering tetrahedrons, has been transformed to house a troop of Eastern black-and-white colobus monkeys, part of a critical breeding programme aimed at safeguarding the species from the threats of deforestation. 

Positioned just outside the usual confines of the main zoo site, the tree-top attraction necessitates a notable deviation from visitor routes, so an eye-catching, inviting sign would be essential to guide people to the newly opened sanctuary.

Technical design schematic of the Monkey Valley colourful freestanding sign we installed at ZSL London Zoo.
Multicoloured 3D lettering of the Monkey Valley sign for ZSL London designed and installed by Glyphics.
Front-on view of the vibrant Monkey Valley Signage we conceptualised and constructed for ZSL London Zoo.
Eastern black and white colobus monkey perching on a branch at ZSL London Zoo's Monkey Valley.
Close-up of the colourful 3D lettering for Monkey Valley sign with Heritage Fund logo.
Scenic view of Regents Canal adjacent to Monkey Valley exhibit at ZSL London Zoo.
Bold and colourful 'MONKEY VALLEY' 3D letters on display at ZSL London Zoo.
Technical design schematic of the Monkey Valley colourful freestanding sign we installed at ZSL London Zoo.
Multicoloured 3D lettering of the Monkey Valley sign for ZSL London designed and installed by Glyphics.
Front-on view of the vibrant Monkey Valley Signage we conceptualised and constructed for ZSL London Zoo.
Eastern black and white colobus monkey perching on a branch at ZSL London Zoo's Monkey Valley.
Close-up of the colourful 3D lettering for Monkey Valley sign with Heritage Fund logo.
Scenic view of Regents Canal adjacent to Monkey Valley exhibit at ZSL London Zoo.
Bold and colourful 'MONKEY VALLEY' 3D letters on display at ZSL London Zoo.
Technical design schematic of the Monkey Valley colourful freestanding sign we installed at ZSL London Zoo.
Multicoloured 3D lettering of the Monkey Valley sign for ZSL London designed and installed by Glyphics.
Front-on view of the vibrant Monkey Valley Signage we conceptualised and constructed for ZSL London Zoo.
Eastern black and white colobus monkey perching on a branch at ZSL London Zoo's Monkey Valley.
Close-up of the colourful 3D lettering for Monkey Valley sign with Heritage Fund logo.
Scenic view of Regents Canal adjacent to Monkey Valley exhibit at ZSL London Zoo.
Bold and colourful 'MONKEY VALLEY' 3D letters on display at ZSL London Zoo.
A DISTINCT AND DURABLE OUTDOOR SIGN FOR LONDON ZOO'S NEW EXHIBIT

Perched 80 feet above the cityscape, the enclosure invites visitors to enjoy 360-degree panoramic views of the Primrose Hill area, immersing them in the world of these endangered primates as they lounge and lunge in a specially planted verdant monkey habitat, complete with cascading waterfall. 

Just outside the exhibit lies a tranquil picnic area, particularly designed for families with young children to relax and enjoy the serene environment.

Earmarked for placement between both of these settings, the signage required a robust build that would embody the playfulness of primates in spirit, while in practical terms, being able to withstand the energetic explorations of small folk. 

In response, our team developed a dynamic design with bold aesthetics that would resonate with the brief, featuring bright colours and rounded lettering to ensure safety by eliminating any sharp edges in the actual structure. 

After consultations with the zoo's structural engineers and collaborating closely with the other contractors on site, we constructed and erected a freestanding stainless steel sign that functions as a beacon for the zoo's latest addition, while becoming part of the furniture, enduring frequent interactions from curious kids.

To make this happen in real terms, technical drawings were produced, and after extensive wind load assessments by a specialist, we determined the robust foundations necessary for the sign's integrity and longevity. Facing a tight deadline for an August 2023 unveiling, we diligently coordinated with the landscaping team to excavate and prepare the substructure, embedding the leg posts with chemical fittings and securing the horizontal supports for the letters. The outcome is a striking landmark that delights little ones, inciting their inquisitiveness and calling attention to the conservation efforts on display.

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