Posts tagged with "animal architecture":

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New York City reveals plans for $60 million Bronx animal shelter

This week, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the location of New York City's newest animal shelter. The 47,000-square-foot Bronx home for rescued, missing, and abandoned creatures will be designed by global firm Mott MacDonald.

Last year, city shelters placed 93 percent of its dogs and cats with pet parents through public adoption or through the city's adoption partner program. The shelter system, which contracts with nonprofit Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC) to provide services, takes in an average of 30,000 animals across in all five boroughs annually. With space for 70 dogs, 140 cats, 30 rabbits, and 20 other animals, plus ACC offices, this will be the Bronx's first full-service shelter. "We are a completely different organization than we were even five years ago. We have become the go-to resource for NYC animal related issues—from pet adoption to rescue to help with keeping pets and families together," said ACC President and CEO Risa Weinstock, in a prepared statement. "We are excited to bring that level of service to the Bronx, with the addition of a new facility." The East Bronx facility, pictured above, will cost $60 million to build. The city is also renovating an existing shelter in East New York, Brooklyn, to meet demand for animal care services. Pending a successful Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), the Bronx building is slated to open in 2024, while renovations on the Brooklyn building will be complete in 2022.
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Bat Tower Builds Animal Architecture in Buffalo

In Griffis Sculpture Park near Buffalo, New York, a twisting triangular tower serves more than a purely aesthetic purpose. Designed by architect and assistant professor at the University of Buffalo, Joyce Hwang, the 12-foot-tall sculpture of stained plywood panels is conceptualized as a protective home for bats. Constructed conspicuously but practically, the University reports that Hwang’s Bat Tower is an effort to raise awareness for the recent disease-caused decline of these flying mammals, usually considered pests. Hwang, who teaches architecture and also directs her own firm, Ants of the Prairie, is committed to use of the built environment for the benefit of the natural environment. For Bat Tower, the construction is animal-friendly; five segments of wood panels create a stack of irregular triangular prisms and their vertically slatted widths (also triangle-shaped) have enough space between each panel for the bats to enter. Inside, the tower mimics a cave-like habitat and a series of screws and steel cables serve dual purpose to stabilize the tower and allow animal perches for hibernation. According to the University of Buffalo, while the bats are in this seasonal sleep, they can become susceptible to white-nose syndrome. Although little is know about the disease, it has already killed over one million of the Northeast's bat population. Hwang’s built habitat mimics the environment of a natural cave, giving bats a safe, familiar home. She also hopes that the bold design of her tower will encourage education about their recent devastation. As an architect, Hwang continuously explores the use of architecture for ecological benefit. “Since I was a graduate student, I have taken an interest in the constructive relationships between humans and animals, and how we can shape our environment in a beneficial way," she said. "Bat Tower draws attention to bats by challenging the notion of a bat house being something nondescript that fades into the background."