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Placer County Animal Shelter

Project Facts


Design Complete

Completion Year



37,800 sf


Auburn, California


Placer County

The design-build team sought to provide a facility that provided a supportive environment for the daily activities of the staff, while offering a destination for the community to engage throughout the year. The facility provides a dynamic arrangement without an imposing character. The materiality and massing are familiar to the surrounding context—highlighting the diverse styles throughout Placer County—anchoring a destination to serve the community for years to come.


The areas for animal adoption present each animal in a dignified and interactive setting that are critically import in the adoption process. The variety of programmatic arrangements made during the design process accounted for multiple staffing layouts. However, each design maintained forward-visibility of the adoption areas. The final iteration offers a unique solution to the programmatic arrangement of the limited site area. The team used this constraint as a benefit by articulating the dog kennels in a series of bungalows, rather than maintaining an anonymous single-loaded corridor. The in-between spaces of each bungalow provide for an appropriately scaled series of exercise yards that are visible to staff and visitors. Similarly, the cat adoption area is visible to anyone accessing the main entry. This presentation of the cat condominiums benefits from the architectural articulation of the façade and will be continually daylit using the building massing as solar control.

The architectural responses to the program go beyond the visual and diverse in its effort to support a healthy and hygienic space for animals and humans—understanding the importance of each design decision in support of the county’s needs. Maintaining a high-level of cleanliness optimizes the overall health of the animals by means of attentive design decisions. A multilayered approach to the design of the facility treats decisions from material selection to systems integration as a whole. All animal areas provide appropriate levels of daylighting and maintain adequate levels of fresh air. High ceiling spaces with acoustic treatments and open viewing to the kennels reduce the number of environmental stressors experienced by the animals.

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