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Sunday, February 08, 2009

Half Dose #59: Animal Refuge Center

Buildings devoted to animals are not where one expects to find architecture with a capital A. Sure, Frank Lloyd Wright designed a doghouse for one of his clients (The Bergers in San Anselmo, CA), but that was only one of hundreds of buildings. I've featured a couple buildings for Australia's anti-cruelty society, but I'll admit it's just hard to come across architecture with our four-legged friends as "clients."

[photo by Luuk Kramer | image source]

This Animal Refuge Center in Amsterdam's Osdrop district by Arons en Gelauff Architecten is a great find. Consolidating two centers into the largest pound in the Netherlands, the building includes 180 dog and 480 cat kennels, the former on the ground floor and the latter on the floor above.

[photo by Luuk Kramer | image source]

The sinuous plan follows the awkward site, maximizing the use of the triangular lot and creating two large courtyards, play areas for the dogs.

[images by arons en gelauff | image source]

[photo by Luuk Kramer | image source]

These outdoor areas allow the dogs to play and interact with each other. The curving paths likewise allow the staff and visitors to move through the yards and oversee the dogs from outside as well as inside. The architects stack the cats overhead to further isolate the noise from the dogs barking in these internal courtyards.

[photo by Bjorn Utpott | image source]

The multi-hued exterior cladding "is a pixel version of the grass on the old dike next to the location," according to the architects. It is reminiscent of just about any building by Sauerbruch Hutton Architects, who exploit the potential of color. Here it is justified, as dogs -- not colorblind as many people believe -- can see colors in the green-yellow spectrum, the colors that predominate in the surfaces on the perimeter and lining the courtyards.

[photo by Luuk Kramer | image source]

:: Arons en Gelauff Architecten


  1. Thanks for the link to my post about the FLW doghouse on Dog Art Today. You have a great blog!

  2. Thanks, Moira. Your post makes me wish I had a dog to build a dog house for. Alas, I'm renting in one of the many pet-free buildings in NYC. Maybe next apartment...


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