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SAA Animal Shelter

Society for Abandoned Animals (SAA) is calling for a relocation of an existing animal shelter facilities in Yuen Long.  The new shelter has to accommodate around 250 dogs, 120 cats and a few exotic animals.  Apart from providing homes for the abandoned animals, the shelter also provides medical and examination facilities, water therapy and training courses for pet grooming.  A rental function hall is also planned for organizing pet friendly events.


The design study assumes a notional site, with dog kennels and cat rooms planned in modular units. Dog kennels with dog run areas in perforated cells are located in the lower two floors while cat rooms in more enclosed cells are situated on upper floor. These units are arranged in clusters to form a “House” for efficient management and animal grouping based on animal size, aged group and specialty care. These houses are equipped with service stations and can be arranged around a service core or spline to fit different shapes of site. The idea is to share the operation methodology with other like-minded organizations by duplication the planning modules to other regions.


The challenge of the design study is the planning of sight line from each kennel to avoid the stress of animals. Sustainable design to harvest natural light and fenestration design to encourage natural ventilation in dog kennels area are key for the well-being of the animals. Radiant cooling is also explored at the dog kennel area to avoid circulation type mechanical ventilation which may spread disease. Screening features are adopted to provide view and ventilation and yet not sacrificing security.  


The pet-friendly function hall is an iconic piece in the complex for hosting events and ceremony for pet lovers. A pet memorial corridor is arranged to wrap around the function hall as an outer screen and pet owners can put the name tag along the screen to commemorate their beloved pets along the screen.


Location: Notional Site

Employer: Society for Abandoned Animals

Design Year: 2021

Status: Feasibility and Planning

Programme: Animal Shelter, Training Rooms, Therapy, Animal Examination Rooms, Function Hall and Offices

PLY Team: Lucia Cheung, Thyne Kong, So Kwok Kin, Timothy Lam, Michelle Lee & Felix Poon

Image Credits: PLY Union Ltd.

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