It is rare for such a project to be put forward for recognition in the field of Architecture. However, where the actual planning and design have positively impacted up on the wellbeing of the inhabitants, in this case dogs and cats, one needs to stand up and notice. Much can be learnt. At this facility, adoptions have doubled and the stress levels of caged animals significantly reduced. Income derived from the Vet and Charity shops now make a significant contribution towards the annual budget.
The Panel did however comment on the problem of the use of the radial plan in various orientations without adaption of the design to recognise the differing orientations and wind conditions.
The radial planning of the cages is derived from prison planning in the US, the radial plan being initially conceived to reduce staff numbers. The adoption of this system for animal cages works well, not only in reducing staff numbers but in reducing the stress experienced by the animals as the view lines increase socialisation. The adoption of a simple economic structural system and the use of laminated timber beams reduces any feeling of institutionalisation.
One can commend the Architects on many levels for a commission well executed and a client’s brief more than met.