Westside Story

Westside German Shepherd Rescue, Los Angeles

UPDATE: Not good news, folks. I checked with Westside German Shepherd Rescue today and discovered that the group did indeed lose their funding and so now they’ve lost this beautiful facility. I’m leaving the post up because it’s still a beautifully designed space, but more importantly because WGSR is an amazing and dedicated group that deserves attention. And even more important than that, this development serves as a reminder just how delicate budgets are for rescue groups. If you’re thinking about donating money this year as holiday gifts, please consider a shelter or rescue organization. :-)

So it turns out there’s something else that makes everything better, and that something else is DESIGN! I’m not only saying this because I am a designer, but also because it’s true. And, in my opinion, one of the areas where design really moves mountains is when it’s applied to projects that are typically mundane and just a little too darn utilitarian. Case in point: the beautiful new design for Westside German Shepherd Rescue in Los Angeles, designed by RA-DA. Instead of a sad, depressing shelter, they’ve created a comfortable and beautiful environment with a Cape Cod flavor for some special guests while they get ready for their new homes. Of course dogs love comfort, but if you’re thinking that dogs don’t care about beautiful environments, think again: if it means a shelter is more inviting to potential new families, I think they’re all for it!

As RA-DA states about the project: “This project reconceptualizes the environment surrounding the adoption of pets. Replacing the concept of adoption is an idea of ‘re-homing’. With this term comes the implication that these animals are well-adjusted and just going from one home to another home. The design responds directly to this and although the site is in an industrial area, the architecture is more residential from the exterior siding to the interior design. Past the front lobby area is a gallery that is designed to resemble an outdoor boardwalk. The kennel rooms line the edges of this boardwalk as a series of separate ‘houses’. A training yard at the end and large doors connect the space to the back of the property, used every day for exercising the dogs and on Saturdays for adoption events.”

Westside German Shepherd Rescue exterior

Westside German Shepherd Rescue exterior

Westside German Shepherd Rescue lobby

Westside German Shepherd Rescue boardwalk

Westside German Shepherd Rescue offices

So big high-fives to RA-DA for designing such a beautiful stopover home for German Shepherds on the move, and also for just using their design power for good!

If you’d like more information on Westside German Shepherd Rescue, click here. There’s also a wonderful video about this rescue organization and its founder Robin here.
For more information on the West Hollywood-based architecture firm RA-DA or to see more of their stunning work (which includes some other animal facility projects–yay!), click here.

All photographs courtesy RA-DA. Photography by Ralf Strathmann.

9 thoughts on “Westside Story

  1. Donating money as a holiday gift to a shelter or rescue organization is a wonderful idea.

    I love the design of the WGSR. I wish every shelter could be like this. Your pictures are fantastic (it’s the designer in you!).

    • Thank you for reading the post and the kind words! I’m afraid I can’t take credit for the photography, the architecture firm allowed me to use theirs, but I agree it is lovely work! It is my goal, however, to improve my photography skills with the new camera I have just received :-)

      • Ah, but you made wonderful selections (with a designer’s editorial eye)… Good luck with the new camera.

  2. Awww it’s so sad to hear they lost their funding… sometimes I wish there were more inspiring facilities like these for people that work for such organizations! They deserve to come to work to a space like this..!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s