Tecton Sealion Pool makeover

Team Tecton has moved up the hill  . . . for a 12-week programme to repair our Sealion Pool.

And first task for the four-strong team was a specialist steam clean to remove algae and spores in the reinforced concrete in readiness for reparation.

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Construction Supervisor Carlo Diponio will be working alongside specialist concrete repairer Martin Baker and apprentices Aaron Gelder and Nathan Beaman, using a state-of-the art restoration cleaning machine which pumps out steam at temperatures of up to 160 degrees.

DZG CEO Peter Suddock said: “It will take more than a week to clean the left side of the Sealion Pool then the team will move on to repair the concrete structures which form the roof of the den, ramp and diving platform, using original shuttering techniques.”

He added: “Knowledge gained during restoration of the huge curves on the Bear Ravine has enabled us to carry out this work which, hopefully, will be completed by Easter.”

The Modernist structure is set in the original moat of 11th century Dudley Castle, at the heart of the zoological gardens, and divided into two pools for ease of maintenance and husbandry.

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On completion the team will move to the right side of the pool – home to 26-year-old Patagonian sealion, Cleo, pictured right – who will then be transferred to the newly-renovated section.

DZG has the world’s largest single collection of Tectons – 12 Modernist buildings constructed between 1935 and the zoo’s opening in May 1937, which were designed by Russian architect, Berthold Lubetkin, and awarded World Monument status in 2009.

They are currently the focus of much attention as two of the structures, Entrance and Safari Shop, have undergone full restoration and work is nearing completion on the Bear Ravine and Kiosk One.

Restoration work has been jointly supported by Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and DZG includes an innovative apprenticeship scheme, pioneered by zoo bosses, which will allow further repairs to be carried out on the remaining Tectons across site when Phase II of the development is completed.

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Specialist concrete repairer Martin Baker sets to task on the Sealion Pool using the state-of-the art restoration cleaning machine which pumps out steam at temperatures of up to 160 degrees.