New York City Architects for Animals

By February 20, 2013Architecture

I recently read an article by Architizer that confirmed and emphasized my respect for architects. It turns out that some New York City architects have been working to build thoughtfully designed cat homes for feral, homeless cats on the streets of the city. The designs are inspiring in their design. The architects created these shelters with the psychology and living habits of felines in mind. Take a look at one of the designs by M Moser Associates and some great quotes from the article by Architizer:

M Moser Associates - CatCOOP

“We treated the cats like our clients: what do they need, how will they live within this space, what materials can we use that a cat will gravitate towards?” says architect Charlton Hutton, whose team from M Moser Associates produced the winning design, a modular stack of pods tricked out with scratch-friendly outdoor carpet. All of the cat houses were on view Thursday night at Steelcase Showroom on Columbus Circle. On Friday Architecture for Animals dispatched the shelters to locations across the five boroughs. – Source: Architizer

M Moser Associates - CatCOOP Design

A diagram of M Moser’s design

Since cats like to sit at different heights, the M Moser team built a series of elevated pods supported by asymmetrical posts. Each pod has a sliding panel for air circulation in summer and a wraparound canopy that doubles as a weather barrier and an outdoor perch. The design also includes a wayfinding feature: a spring green entry portal. “Based on our research, we found that cats distinguish between the low- to mid-light wave spectrum — meaning purple, blue, yellow, and green, with blue and green being the strongest colors they see,” says Hutton. The architects beta-tested their design with their own cats, he adds: “They weren’t too fond of the power tools, but as soon as the assembly started they were all over the outdoor carpet we used for the interior insulation and began climbing in and out of the boxes.” – Source: Architizer

Here’s a favorite of mine by Zimmerman Workshop Architecture + Design that uses Spanish moss to blend the structure into the gardens that they are placed within. I really like their use of a curtain type door.

Zimmerman Workshop - Cat House

Thanks to Architizer for writing about this and thanks to the architects who are helping these animals in New York City. I always knew architects were good people.

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