Photo by Tamar Arslanian
Last week's Architects for Animals Giving Shelter event showed that even cats can appreciate the power of good design with a bevy of abodes created with kitties in mind. The event was sponsored by the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals and supports the Feral Cat Initiative to help homeless felines. Of the eight designers who participated, M Moser Associates' modern cat condo (shown above) took home the grand prize. Read on to see all of the unique designs in our photo gallery.
A range of designs were on display showing many diverse cat shelter approaches. Some, such as last year’s winner, Kathryn Walton of The American Street Cat, Inc. and Stonehill & Taylor, focused on sustainable materials. Walton used 300 empty aluminum cat food cans, each individually insulated with recycled denim, and reclaimed cedar fencing to create her shelter, which can hold up to four cats. Stonehill & Taylor and a team of City College architecture students created the fun “Swiss Cheese Urban Outfit House”. The structure was made from a collection of donated and abandoned materials, such as the outside, which was covered in foam left over from one of the students class projects and cut to look like Swiss cheese- something appealing to any cat!
Taking a more minimalist approach, Pilot Projects created a DIY kit with cats and the local environment in mind. One of the teammates explained, “We wanted to encourage people to use as many found, natural materials as possible.” Central Park served as the location in the team’s initial design process but can be adapted to any setting.
H3 Hardy Collaborative Architecture worked with an eye towards accessibility. Their modular shelter allowed units to be easily added or subtracted depending on the environment and number of cats. The waterproof, light-weight structure is easily transportable and completely outfitted with affordable materials from Home Depot.
Callison Barteluce and M Moser’s shelters stood out for their focus on form, perhaps catering more to a human’s sense of design than to a cat’s. Callison Barteluce’s A-Shelter was designed for use in public parks and therefore constructed from highly durable, heavy materials. The team displayed a lot of thought behind their lean-to style wood and steel hut making it a resort-like setting for any cat lucky enough to find their way in. A pergola offered a space for cats to lay on the cool cement underneath in the summer and a refuge to climb into in the cooler months. Light even factored into the design as the two exposed sides of the shelter featured removable acrylic panels, allowing natural sunlight to fill the space. M Moser’s winning “Cat Coop” design featured strong angles and many levels for cats to move between. It even included a live video feed to engage the public and provide researchers with information on local feral cat colonies.
The event saw animal and design lovers alike attending to admire the various structures and contribute to a meaningful cause. The Mayor’s Alliance for Animals hopes to transform NYC into a no-kill community by 2015 and funds raised from last night’s event will be one step towards helping them achieve this goal.
All photos © Amanda Coen for Inhabitat except where noted.