JOSHUA COHEN is a principal at Fat Pencil Studio.
Fifty years ago in Portland, an elephant named Packy was born. At the time, no Asian elephants had been born in the Western Hemisphere in 44 years, so Packy touched off a minor sensation in Oregon, and across the United States. Today, Packy is the oldest male elephant in North America, and he is the patriarch of a large herd at the Oregon Zoo. Packy’s home at the zoo is undergoing some major improvements thanks to a bond approved by Portland Metro area voters. Last Fall, Fat Pencil Studio had the opportunity to assist Lease Crutcher Lewis on a successful bid to construct the new Asian Elephant habitat at the Oregon Zoo. The project involves challenging terrain and schedule constraints. A detailed digital 3d model of the zoo campus helped LCL’s project team gain a deeper understanding of these challenges, and better explain their approach during the bidding process.
Creating a complex digital terrain model in a short period of time required us to learn a few new tricks, which was interesting. However, in the end the project was all about Packy and friends, and we had a great time learning about their new home.