It was 2007 and Romtec was really starting to spread its wings in the custom design arena, but no one expected the phone call that would lead to the beautiful, one-of-a-kind octagon building that Romtec would design for the Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange, New Jersey. Romtec had provided the zoo with a standard model restroom a few years earlier, so they were delighted when called upon to ‘come through for the zoo’ once again. This time, however, Romtec was told that the zoo was putting in a huge carousel and had a prestigious architectural firm design a house for the carousel that could be open in the summer and closed in the winter. The carousel house was to be an octagon with a split-level roof and stylish pergola.
Romtec came up with the daring idea to match it’s restroom/concession building to the carousel house and they never looked back. The challenge was to match the carousel house as closely as possible but keep ADA accessibility standards despite the odd-shaped rooms. The building not only meets the needs of the zoo patrons and staff, but the unique shape almost became an exhibit itself. Hopefully they will not upstage the animals, but these two buildings are a beautiful sight! Design and material coordination were key, and Romtec forged a strong bond with the architectural firm, the contractors and the zoo itself. Everyone at Romtec takes a special pride in the Turtle Back building and awaits the next challenge that will take them to an even higher level in custom-designed buildings.