by Zohra KhanDec 14, 2020
Portuguese architect Raulino Silva has designed a holiday retreat for cats and dogs in a countryside setting of Parada, a parish in Vila do Conde municipality of Portugal. The complex, known as Canine and Feline Hotel, features three interconnected units that serve as temporary accomodation for dogs and cats who seek a home in times of holidays or professional travel of their owners.
Set over an undulated patch of land, the buildings are programmed to create three different areas where the idea is to segregate spaces of rest and play for cats and dogs, especially to avoid meeting of both and to reduce animal noise in the property.
Overall, the fragmentation of the spaces is driven by the fact that the architect wanted to control the impact of construction on the neighbourhood, and therefore conceptualised an architecture that subtley merges with its landscape.
Upon arrival, visitors enter a single-storey volume, which houses reception, service desk, a small shop, a storage room, sanitary facilities, offices and a grooming room.
The second volume reveals itself as the largest of all, comprising two storeys that accommodate 41 dog shelters. As per Silva, this building follows the contours of the site and functions as a link between the entrance area perched on the highest point of the landscape and the animals’ playground at the lowest.
Kennels are located on the upper floor where a central corridor connected to a small garden cuts the visual contact between animals facing each other. Glass is used extensively here - the doors of dog shelters, as a central skylight and openings into the façade from where the animals view the farm.
A sculpturesque spiral staircase descends into the lower floor, which reveals service areas such as laundry, locker room and bathroom for working staff.
The smallest of the three buildings is the cat shelter with 12 independent spaces to care for the feline friends. It houses a core circulation space surrounding a garden where cats lounge on the grass beds and laze in sunshine filtering through a large skylight.
“The remaining program is a complement to the space’s activity, with a veterinary office, a grooming room, outdoor training areas and a swimming pool for pets,” says Silva of local firm Raulino Silva Arquitecto.
To increase the energy efficiency of the architecture, ETICS (External Thermal Insulation Composite System) is applied on all walls and ceiling. Roof features bitumen sheet membranes and a layer of local pebble stones while balconies and car parking are clad in dark grey concrete flooring.
For dog training camps, granite posts that existed on the ground and were used in the vineyard near the planting field, have been used for the fence nets. Additionally, granite stone walls were cleaned and preserved, keeping the same old construction method.
Overall, a refreshing space basking in the spirit of peace and play is secured as a home away from home for the four-legged furry friends.