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.”
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.