Cumming, Georgia, USA
The new campus for Furkids, designed by Scott Morris of BLUR Workshop, is a multifunctional facility that serves as the main cat shelter and adoption location for the largest no-kill animal shelter in the southeastern U.S.
FurKids-Cat Shelter has received a 2022 American Architecture Awards Honorable Mention by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.
This building not only serves as the main adoption outlet but also includes a cat café, multifunction event/open adoption space, and incorporates interactive, educational components as well.
To disturb the least amount of woodland as possible, the buildings are arranged so the exterior connection pathways meander through the nearby trees and smaller flora.
The client wanted a building that would be as maintenance-free as possible and rot-resistant.
Thus, thermo kiln-dried wood is utilized throughout the buildings.
The buildings are topped with standing seam metal roofs, striking the right balance of aesthetics and durability for this forest setting.
The project sits on a 6.6 acre, heavily wooded site, outside of Atlanta, with a dense landscape buffer between it and any other buildings.
This meant that the most critical influence was the immediate site itself. The design parti is a series of tall cabin-like projections amongst the trees.
This is made possible by keeping the majority of the buildings low and long so they disappear behind the tall foliage, while the light scoops rise almost three stories up.
The design utilizes a lot of glazing to connect the interior spaces with the landscape and the existing water gardens.
Both vertical projections and framed window shades serve as overhangs to mitigate glare and heat gain while maximizing views.
The campus is designed to be pedestrian-friendly, so every visitor can experience the site firsthand.
The designers opted for compacted gravel driveways for all parking and vehicular pathways.
Raised composite decking pedestrian paths meander through the forest, connecting the buildings.
All pathways are illuminated by soft glowing solar-powered LED bollards.
The desire to preserve as many trees as possible drove the organization and orientation of the buildings and site plan.
The client’s request was to touch lightly on the landscape, which resulted in portions of each building being elevated on columns.
This allowed the landscape to continue underneath the buildings and minimize disturbance.
Project: FurKids-Cat Shelter
Architects: BLUR Workshop
Lead Architect: Scott Morris
Client: FurKids Inc.Animal & Rescue Shelters