- Project Name
- Pet Resource Center
1312 Melissa Drive
- Best Friends Animal Society
- Project Scope
- New Construction
- 2 sq. feet
- Shared by
- Rania Alomar
Rania Alomar, Principal
Stephanie Odenheimer, Project Architect
Luisana Hernandez, Designer
Michael Green, Designer
Civil Engineer: Harrison French & Associates,Electrical Engineer: Harrison French & Associates,Plumbing Engineer: Harrison French & Associates,Landscape Architect: Harrison French & Associates,Structural Engineer: Harrison French & Associates
- Project Status
FROM THE ARCHITECTS:
As the first building of its kind, the Pet Resource Center is a revolution in the animal care industry. With kennels and cages intentionally omitted, it’s function is similar in many ways to an animal shelter, but its fundamental philosophy is the polar opposite.
LONG TERM GOAL
Best Friends Animal Society has a goal of No-Kill by 2025. To achieve this, they are working with shelters, rescues, and communities and using a deep knowledge and analysis of data to rehome animals and stop the killing of unwanted pets.
After 150 years of shelters that are modelled on short term (3-7 day) stays, Best Friends is changing that paradigm. Animals visibly decay in health and behavior when kept in cages and kennels. Best Friends have developed a better and smarter way.
A NEW WAY
During Covid many shelters were shut down and as a result, a large network of foster parents emerged. Best Friends capitalized on this and halfway through design, we decided that the kennels had to go: The goal was to build a shelter of the future:
People need a place where they can connect with animals in a setting that is un-institutional.
We needed a home for community, animals, and nature to come together. So, we designed a village.
This was going to be different, and the building would be a model for Cities and Counties Country-wide, and even world-wide.
A CUSTOMIZED PROGRAM
This meant a different approach to the design of the building. We had to rethink the purpose, the flow and the program. This Center needed to be community-focused, inclusive, and welcoming. We needed to pull the public into the world of Best Friends and get them involved, either to donate, volunteer, adopt or foster. It needed to support its affiliated rescues, foster parents, and the animals. It needed to provide adequate medical care and spay and neuter services. It needed to educate on all aspects of animal care including dog behavior or kitten feeding. It would even provide a community pantry for parents that were in need. The spaces are designed around these functions and creatively support these aspirations.
One of the first questions the client asked us during the interview process was ‘How are you going to make this fit into the local vernacular?’.
It was clear that needed to be an important part of our design approach. Even though Bentonville is a hub of industry, it still has a predominantly rural landscape. Old barn buildings are scattered throughout standing alone on wide fields between clusters of grazing cows.
Barn Buildings, like all vernacular architecture, are inherently designed to respond to the local environment, and incorporate sustainable features.
A deep dive into typology allowed us to parse and categorize the language into architectural strategies for form. These are the strategies we used to manipulate our roofscape to achieve an efficient and intentional peaking, merging, kicking out of the slopes to traverse the site and shelter the program.