In 2004, the city of Amsterdam decided to combine and amalgamate the two existing animal refuges into a single entity. The result, the Amsterdam Animal Refuge Centre designed by the firm Arons en Gelauff Architecten, is a scheme which takes an exceedingly difficult site and produces both an attractive and functional solution. The solution seeks to balance the comfort and climate for the impounded animals with the restrictions of its city fringe plot and the need for low levels of noise pollution. Below, the architects describe their specific response in more detail.

Arch2o-Amsterdam Animal Refuge Centre-Arons en Gelauff Architecten (65)

Courtesy of Arons en Gelauff Architecten – Photographer Luuk Kramer

We have had the service corridor and the kennel corridor converge in the Amsterdam Animal Rescue Centre. This creates a long, thin ribbon building. This building is folded like a ribbon along the waterway around the plot. Inside this, two large play spaces for the animals have been created.

Arch2o-Amsterdam Animal Refuge Centre-Arons en Gelauff Architecten (66)

Courtesy of Arons en Gelauff Architecten – Photographer Luuk Kramer

The building faces inwards in order to reduce excessive noise levels (barking!) for the neighbours. In the high part of the building, the cat accommodation is located above the dog kennels as an extra sound buffer for the outside world. The central position of the entrance lobby determines the final form – a fluid object. Its hide is a pixel version of the grass on the old dike next to the location.

By  Matt Davis

Courtesy of Arons en Gelauff Architecten – Photographer Luuk Kramer

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