Following the completion of a master plan for Animal Aid, Mitsuori Architects were appointed to complete the detailed design for the proposed redevelopment of the entire facility, and manage the process for obtaining council approval.
Animal Aid's ambition is to create a world class facility for the care of animals and our proposal places animal welfare at the core of the design concept. Through the integration of architecture and ecological landscape design, this design solution creates a nurturing environment for the animals, maintains the highest standard of safety for staff and volunteers, and improves the quality of the local environment through site wide water management and a constructed wetland. The site is configured to create a central ‘hub’ to enable staff and visitors to easily navigate between buildings, encourage a sense of arrival and activity, and separate visitors from service circulation areas.
The architecture of Animal Aid is based on a series of ‘fingers’ that reach into the surrounding landscape. Linear rain gardens and planted walls running alongside each finger capture rainwater and provide the animals with a sense of open space and calm. These rain gardens are also an important part of the landscape design and water management strategy. The on-site biological treatment wetland and water storage lake have been designed to meet over 90% of the facilities water needs. Natural ventilation and energy efficient heating and cooling systems are employed to significantly reduce energy and water consumption across all buildings.
A veterinary hospital, attached catteries and administrative offices are located in a taller central building positioned between the two main kennel buildings. This building brings together all functions that must be easily accessed by the adjoining kennel facilities. An education centre and cafe are located on the opposite side of the central hub to provide staff and visitors with a place for learning and respite. The first phase of this building was completed in 2010.
The Animal Aid Redevelopment project has received planning permission and is currently awaiting funding to proceed with the next stage of work.