Project Spotlight: Primate Canopy Trails at the Saint Louis Zoo

Project Spotlight: Primate Canopy Trails at the Saint Louis Zoo

Project Spotlight: Primate Canopy Trails at the Saint Louis Zoo

The Michael and Qursis Riney Primate Canopy Trails now weave weathering steel with nature in a new and interactive outdoor primate exhibit at the Saint Louis Zoo

The exhibit features multiple weathering steel elements in eight different primate habitats. The exhibit features climbing structures made from weathering steel hollow structural sections (HSS), which are interwoven between real trees to serve as additional climbing and enrichment activities for the primates in the exhibit. Shelter boxes made from weathering steel are also spread throughout the primate habitats. Above the climbing structures, weathering steel HSS suspend the netting that encloses the exhibit. And lastly, a winding boardwalk made of curved weathering steel gives visitors a treetop view of the exhibit. 

Weathering Steel Canopy

Why was weathering steel selected? 

Weathering steels are a family of ASTM specifications, as well as several trademarked specifications exhibiting similar corrosion-resistant properties. The ASTM specifications are A588, A242, A606-4, A847, A871-65 and A709-50W. The primary trademarked product is Cor-ten®. This project used ASTM A847 weathering steel pipe and weathering steel plate throughout the exhibit.  

The use of weathering steel for this exhibit provided two key benefits. First, weathering steel offers significant advantages over other metals for structures that are exposed to outdoor elements. Once erected, weathering steel resists corrosion, requires minimal maintenance, and eliminates the need for site painting. Secondly, the rustic, orange-brown patina that weathering steel develops over time provided the natural forest look that the architect and design team desired for the exhibit. It blends right in with the sycamore and blue ash trees! 

The key players

The 35,000-square-foot exhibit was meticulously designed by architect PGAV Destinations and structural engineer Leigh O’Kane. Tarlton served as the general contractor on the project. The Gateway Company of Missouri  fabricated the weathering steel using materials supplied by Central Steel Service, and Acme Erectors erected the weathering steel exhibit.  

Contact Central Steel Service for High Strength Weathering Steel

Interested in using weathering steel in your next project? Central Steel Service stocks high-strength, corrosion-resistant weathering steel across several categories and in a variety sizes. Contact one of our experienced sales associates to learn more!