Architecture for animals: biodiversity, shelter and habitat
Architecture is created for people, but how to design beyond the human scale? With a renewed interest in biodiversity and animal habitats accelerated by the climate crisis, there is also the question of shelter and what it means to design spaces for interaction and rehabilitation. As architects look beyond structures for people, they turn their attention to different types of enclosures and open spaces that rethink engagement with animals and their well-being.
Whether examining the architecture of animals through shelters, zoo enclosures, or rehabilitation spaces, they all share a common focus on scale, experience, and environment. Featuring habitat and enclosure systems from around the world, the following projects examine the relationship between animals and design. Differing widely in terms of program, they also have individual approaches to form and surrounding context. Together they begin to represent the links between experience, interaction and animal life.
Most neighborhoods in Almere, a city of nearly 190,000 people, have a children’s farm. In the park ‘den Uyl’ there was one, but it burned down in the early 80s, leaving only its concrete foundation. In early 2005, the design team was commissioned by the Municipality of Almere to design a new children’s farm on the exact location and the remaining foundations. The building was eventually constructed using almost entirely sponsored money and was completed in late 2008.
Installed in the middle of fields, in a rural environment transformed in recent decades by urban development and intensive agriculture dependent on pesticides, Educan School is experimenting with ways to recover the conditions of the ecosystem. While the two main classrooms are occupied by dog-human pairs practicing agility or canine sports like Schutzhund, the bird’s nest on the facade of the upper floor nest, provides a view and orientation ideal.
This cat cafe is located in the famous commercial area of Tianzifang in Shanghai, it only has a narrow door which connects with the street, the main use areas are located on the second and third floors. This is not a typical commercial space design, this is an old housing renovation project. Cats are the primary users of all space on a daily basis. The design goal is to provide a comfortable and playable space for cats and to provide a relaxing space for customers.
These are two animal-related buildings on the border between the industrial site of Maatheide and the Sahara nature reserve of Lommelse: an animal shelter and a crematorium. The buildings lacked attractive public notoriety, hence their relocation to the industrial site which was not used to housing public buildings. As an architecture mission, the programs were also quite unknown and therefore required research into significant new typologies.
Working with Cát Tiên National Park, Free the Bears and Building Trust International, COLE has completed the design of a series of buildings to house bears rescued from the illegal wildlife trade and bile industry. bear. The result is a modular and luminous gabion structure aimed at merging nature and functionality. The site was across a river, which meant that supplies had to be transported. Another challenge was that the site was next to a heavily forested jungle hill, located in one of Vietnam’s largest national parks.
Set amongst farmland and vineyards on the Mornington Peninsula, south of Melbourne, Seth Stein Architects (UK) and Watson Architecture + Design (Melbourne) were commissioned to design a new equestrian centre. The client is based locally as well as in the UK and was looking for a scheme which, although functional and practical, would also be sympathetic to the landscape through its architectural form and the use of materials intended to be durable and long lasting.
Architecture Matters sought to negotiate the contrasting urban and idyllic settings of the parklands surrounding the Stonnington Animal Pound site, responding to the contemporary architecture of the existing Pound building and adjacent Stonnington Depot complex, while meeting the projected requirements to house sustainably the growth of municipalities. population of lost and abandoned cats in “best practice” accommodation.
Foster + Partners realized the Elaphant House at Copenhagen Zoo for a group of Indian elephants. The Elephant House is covered in light, glazed domes that enclose spaces with a strong visual connection to the sky and changing patterns of daylight. Elephants can congregate here or in adjoining enclosures. Wide public observation decks run around the domes outside, while a ramped walkway leads to an educational space, peering into enclosures along the way.