Nautilus offers VR design technology

Posted: 7th August, 2018

The “Energy for Life” tropical house at Marwell Zoo has been an excellent opportunity for Nautilus to showcase our multiple talents on one stunning project.

We started on the design work for the project in June 2016 and spent many hours creating a stunning creative design for the project. This was first modelled in CGI and then converted into virtual reality (VR) files. This was the first time we had provided a VR design and the client and wider project team were suitably impressed. They were amazed by the clarity of the design work which really gives an accurate sense of perspective. It is amazing now to look at the screen shots of our design and compare them with what has actually been built. This really underpins the benefits of this approach to design and is something we now provide on a regular basis.

A key exhibit in the tropical house is the large aquarium, holding 70,000 litres of water the display is home to a number of fish species and turtles. A group of small monkeys resides on the island in the middle of the display. There is also an area for monitor lizards, two separate sloth displays as well as a forest floor display with numerous small ground dwelling species including mouse deer. The huge variety of mature tropical plants really gives the feel of a dense rainforest complimented with many species of free flying birds.

In addition to our works on the visitor side of the attraction, there has also been a variety of works to the back of house areas including fabrication of temporary holding and roosting areas and design and installation of life support systems for the aquarium, the monitor lizard tank, the flooded forest display and the large waterfall in the sloth exhibit.

Our main services on site included:

  • Full creative design in virtual reality
  • All theming works totaling in excess of 1000m2 of  various styles of rock work and mud banks
  • Design and installation of large glazing panels for the aquarium and Flooded forest display
  • Design and installation of life support systems for the aquarium, waterfall, Monitor lizard pool and flooded forest display
  • Construction of all containment mesh and access gates for animal enclosures
  • Construction of back of house stainless steel gage work for temporary holding. 

Over many years of designing and building zoo and aquarium projects, Nautilus have continued to develop our extensive in-house skills. The team has vast amounts experience in not only designing and building zoo and aquarium projects, but also operating them; setting us apart from other companies in the industry. This enables us to consider the welfare needs of the animals, the keeper and operational requirements and also the visitor experience.

It is this operational experience that has enabled unique support to clients in designing and building a range of world class exhibits. Through careful selection of key individuals, the company has developed over the years to become a ‘one stop shop’ offering turnkey projects. This comprehensive approach makes projects a lot less stressful for clients whilst offering far better value for money and a high quality product.

As a result of consecutive years of steady, controlled growth, Nautilus are extremely proud to be helping a range of major zoo and aquarium client to realise their ambitious projects.

We are currently working on several other zoo and aquarium projects with some very exciting features in the pipeline.

Over the last 12 months we have completed many projects in zoos and aquariums across the UK and Europe for many species. Not all of our projects are large scale. We get a great deal of satisfaction in helping smaller attractions to carry out small scale improvements, or just provision of artefacts or design ideas. We are always happy to carry out site visits to look at potential projects as it gives us the opportunity to visit the places we have a genuine interest for.

For further information of on our services or past projects please visit or contact Paul Bullimore on 01305 816352 or email [email protected]

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