Rural Studio Tour: gimme shelter

Vaulted.

Vaulted.

Just over a 15-minute drive from Newbern is Greensboro, Alabama (pop. 2,731) and site of the next stop on our Hale-oween Rural Studio tour (and Liane’s second favorite RS project)—The Hale County Animal Shelter.

The 2005–2006 thesis project of students Jeff Bazzell, Julieta Collart, Lana Farkas, Connely Farr, the “Dog Pound”, as it’s sometimes called, was conceived and constructed to help underfunded Hale County fulfill a state-mandated legal obligation calling for an animal shelter in each county.

The back.

The back.

Vault and the box.

Vault and the box.

With assistance from consulting structural engineer Joe Farruggia, the team of four (each, with no previous construction experience) utilized a lamella roof for the overarching, open-ended shelter structure. This large sweeping span sits slightly off-the-ground on steel legs rooted in concrete, and is constructed of conventional off-the-shelf 2x8s connected in a diamond pattern and sheathed in 1x4s and sheets of corrugated galvinized aluminum.

Galvinized perspective.

Galvinized perspective.

Diamond ribs.

Diamond ribs.

Steel feet.

Steel feet.

Galv-alum with Plexi band.

Galv-alum with Plexi band.

Three Plexiglas bands—at the top and either side—are carefully placed to keep furry tenants coolly shaded during the summer and comfortably warmed by direct sunlight during the winter.

Back of the box.

Back of the box.

Underneath this shimmery arc, the kennel structure is a modernist box comprised of 16 open-air pens (with under-floor heating to warm the animals during the winter), bookended by two enclosed air-conditioned spaces for kennel workers and the treatment of ill or injured animals.

Lou looking for pups.

Lou looking for pups.

Looking back.

Looking back.

Dead end.

Dead end.

The late Sambo Mockbee once said: “Everybody wants the same thing, rich or poor… not only a warm, dry room, but a shelter for the soul.”

The “Dog Pound” is a shelter for the soul… an expression of compassion and respect for all living things… another shining example of the Rural Studio ethos.

[Ed. note: Just a week prior to our visit, the Animal Shelter was shortlisted and highly commended in the Civic Category at the inaugural World Architecture Festival in Barcelona.]

1133 | Rural Studio
Beneath the roses
Fire!
Outside the Red Barn

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