Sungai Ulu Danum Research Station

Client: Kyoto University Wildlife Research Centre
Project: Sungai Ulu Danum Research Centre for Orangutan field research at Borneo Rainforest Lodge
Role: Lead Design Consultant
Status: Completed January 2010
Design Team: Ian Hall and Sarah Greenlees

The forest around Borneo Rainforest Lodge (BRL) is home to an extraordinarily high density of orang-utans. More than 30 individuals are being monitored in a research program lead by the Wildlife Research Center (WRC) of Kyoto University. The WRC research program now has a new purpose built home at BRL thanks to collaboration between Yayasan Sabah, University Malaysia Sabah and Kyoto University. The Sungai Ulu Danum Research Station was opened on 17th February 2010 by Dr Waidi Sinun, director of the Conservation and Environmental Management division of Yayasan Sabah.

The researchers are studying the ecology and behaviour of orang-utans without direct intervention. In other words the apes are not captured or collared; data is gathered by following them and observing their behaviour and collecting any samples that they might drop. The presence of tourists at BRL does not interrupt this process and it means that more people get to see ecological science at work and learn about this great ape first hand in its forest home. Arkitrek is proud to have designed the research station and hopes that the researchers and research assistants will be comfortable there for the duration of their field work.