Shelter of Lights not only for Dogs

Sheltering

Shelter of Lights not only for Dogs

Sheltering 2009
Peconic, NY

PROGRAM:
Animal Shelter for Town of Southold, NY. 
Approx. 9,000 sq. ft.

AWARD:
AIA Peconic Design Award 2010

START:
Animal shelter is a complex building, being hospital, refuge, prison, school, community center, consultant, adoption agency, and/or retail shop.  On the compact footprint, the program requires multiple small rooms grouped for both interconnections and separations.  Most rooms require exterior exposures for fresh air, sunlight, and frequent indoor-outdoor use.  Sound, safety, air quality, health and sanitary controls have stringent requirements.  Staff access, animal control officer’s access, visitors’ access, all of them need to be clearly separated and easily identifiable.  Designers should understand people’s needs, as well as dog’s needs.  It is a labyrinth in nature. 
Creating a chaos, with the overwhelming numbers of rooms, places, zones, network, and multiple functions, must be avoided.

EXPLORATION:
We decided to use skylights for the “consistency overlay” above the labyrinth.  Skylights provide natural light, release pressure from the flat ceiling, indicate time, and connect the interior to the changing sky.  To make the consistency overlay sensible, we colored the skylight wells with several colors.  

We provided glass partitions and windows as much as possible.  Viewed from the corridor through glass openings, animals in the rooms are spotlighted with the colors.   Staff can eye on rooms and outdoor runs.  Glass walls also gift tiny rooms with a sense of expansiveness. 
 
The animals, as well as people, were considered the clients.  Kennel doors were, for instance, offset to provide dog’s “privacies”.  Dogs tend to be excited when facing each other.  Providing dogs’ privacy makes staff able to control dogs easier, too.  Another example: we provided inside-outside connected run, so that animals can choose to be outside or in; sit in the path of a breeze or sheltered in a corner, when the shutter is kept opened. 

NRG blocks, masonry units having a layer of internal rigid insulation, were selected for exterior walls provide superior thermal value using single wythe construction, while the walls have water resistant and durable surfaces both inside and out.