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Project: Denver Zoo Entry Plaza

A perching leopard, leaping gazelles, crouching lions, and a towering family of giraffes delight Denver Zoo visitors from the moment they turn into the entrance drive. These 22 oversized sculptures create an exciting preamble to a zoo visit, and help to set this institution apart from other cultural venues in the city and across the nation.

The artworks are first developed—in painstaking detail—as 3-D computer renderings. The illustration data is then translated into digital pattern files for use on laser-cutting equipment. After cutting, dozens (sometimes hundreds!) of individual shapes are twisted, bent, folded, welded, polished, and patinated to create spectacular finished sculptures.

Close collaboration between ECOS and the sculptor produced a product that was finished in less than eight months, installed in less than two days, and required only minimal on-site welding. The complex forms and angles that make up each sculpture combine to produce great structural strength—more than enough to stand up to Colorado’s extreme weather and any occasional abuse from zoo patrons.

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