Portfolio: Animal Shelters
Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter Location Georgetown Client Williamson County Architect Connolly Architects & Consultants Design Team Larry Connolly, AIA; Rebecca Read; John Cameron, AIA Photographer Hester + Hardaway
Completed in April 2007, the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter is designed to handle 14,000 animals annually. The facility is centrally located within the county and is sited on a primary road for high visibility and easy access. This 15,000-sf shelter consists of two buildings, which allow for separation of its primary clients; dogs are housed in the western building, which has an H-shaped plan, and cats occupy the eastern, T-shaped one. Each structure features three habitat types: adoption/stray, quarantine, and isolation. This separation of habitats is fundamental to the health of the animals and therefore to their adoptability; separate HVAC systems also reduce the spread of disease among the animals. Connolly Architects & Consultants sought to deinstitutionalize the building type. Interaction with the public occurs primarily in the southern portions of the buildings along their street facades. The separation of public and private spaces, as well as the allocation of animal-specific buildings, provides for easy wayfinding. Account-
102 Texas Architect
ability for animal care and protection is realized through transparency, access to the animals, and spaces allotted for community organization. Details to help the animals feel more comfortable include sanitary habitats because they are easy to clean, heating and cooling, cat hide boxes, and doggie beds. The architects looked to the vernacular buildings of the Hill Country to create a welcoming environment. Large eaves provide covered walkways and porches, and the cedar siding adds warmth to the exterior. This is continued on the interior, where redwood finishes the ceiling in the lobby. All interior spaces have access to daylight. The shelter was completed as the first phase of a two-phase project. Plans for an additional H-shaped building for canine care are ready to go when the county decides to expand.