Portfolio: Animal Shelters
Austin Animal Center Location Austin Client City of Austin, Public Works Department Architect Jackson & Ryan Architects Design Team Martha Seng, FAIA; Lea Rogers, AIA; Shannon Fowler, AIA; Joshua Ma; Suzanne Bird, AIA; Margarita de Monterrosa; Glenda Franco; Kim Radich; Shiou Teng Photographer Mark Scheyer
Dedicated to providing and promoting humane treatment of animals while fulfilling its charge to manage the domestic animal population, the Austin Animal Center has several design features to increase the chances that its dogs, cats, and rabbits will find “forever” homes. The 41,000-sf facility, designed by Jackson & Ryan Architects, is composed of seven separate buildings that provide spaces for animal housing, animal intake, public functions, administration, veterinary services, and support areas. The animal housing areas are designed to minimize disease transmission and stress for the animals, while maximizing their welfare. Public spaces feature colorful materials and bright animal imagery to enhance the family-friendly atmosphere of the facility and encourage public visitation. The architects also strategically sited the buildings around existing mature trees to shade the dog kennels and promote outdoor
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activities and exercise for the dogs and their potential new owners. The shelter is located on a campus of other government buildings at the intersection of two major highways, and its tall, arched roofs, made of prefabricated steel, are highly visible to passing traffic, which serves to increase visitorship. Also visible from the front of the building are solar collectors that heat the water used for kennel washing. These features, along with many other sustainable elements highlighted with signs throughout the building, helped earn the facility LEED Gold certification. The campus is unique in that a ring road encircles the buildings, forming a large internal green space for pedestrian use. Bricks from older buildings demolished on the site were salvaged and reused to help tie the aesthetics of the new building to the older fabric of the remaining campus.
This issue explores the value of architectural diversity and creative responses to context. The discussion begins with a series on the three...