The West Valley Animal Care Center entailed the renovation and expansion of an existing shelter at the west end of the San Fernando Valley. The project involved the construction of: new indoor-outdoor kennels; a Spay/Neuter Clinic; wild animal, pocket pet and cat holding facilities; conferencing and training facilities; and a pasture; while the existing kennels (15,600 sq. ft.) were renovated and converted to isolation and quarantine facilities. This project was implemented through a two-phased construction program to allow for the continuous operation of the facility.
The design for the West Valley Animal Care Center arrays pavilions, containing indoor-outdoor kennels, and all other public uses along a central gallery. Other uses along the gallery include: the main reception desk; access to the training/conferencing facilities; the cat housing facilities; puppy kennels; and the Spay/Neuter Clinic. The gallery functions much like the central atrium of a shopping mall, with “destinations” at each end to increase walking traffic along its length for the purposes of “pass-by” adoptions. The gallery end nearest the entrance is anchored by the Administration and Spay/Neuter Clinic, while the farthest end is anchored by holding areas for puppies and small animals - the real draw for parents and their children. Vaulted roofs and clerestory glazing are provided along the gallery and at the kennel pavilions to increase the airiness of the facility and make it an inviting place for people to “browse”.
The spaces between the kennel pavilions, and the site around the entire facility, are extensively landscaped to create a garden-like setting. Landscaped areas at the kennel pavilions take the institutional edge off the facility as well as providing spaces for animal socialization. A pasture is located at the far end of the gallery with a “barn” to house large animals.
The building’s design and construction incorporated numerous sustainable design features which qualified it for Certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Green Building Rating System.