The primary idea behind the design of this 4,400 square foot animal hospital is to maintain separation between cats and dogs. The reception area is divided with dogs to the left and cats to the right. Exam rooms coincide with this split, while common support spaces occur in between, serving both cats and dogs. Exam rooms, pharmacy and lab, as well as the treatment area are all shared. Dog and Cat wards are separated with direct adjacency to the treatment and surgery suites.
The lower level of this building includes additional dog kennels and storage space.
The new Black Bear Exhibit along the zoo’s Minnesota Trail was designed to house three young black bears. The project includes a holding building, visitor viewing areas and an exhibit space that contains rock formations, indigenous vegetation, and water elements based on a bear’s natural habitat.
The exhibit consists of a rock bear cave with small public viewing window, outdoor exhibit with pond, view gallery with large window looking into the outdoor exhibit, and enclosed bear dens with zoo staff access. Steep grade on the existing site required the building step down towards the lake with retaining walls to allow service access. The areas viewable by the public are designed to give the look of the Minnesota north woods with rock work and landscaping.
The holding building provides a secure, low maintenance area for staff to care for the bears. Controlled circulation of the animals allow zoo keepers the ability to separate bears when required and capture individuals when necessary. Durable materials are used to withstand the wear and tear of housing large animals. Special and multiple animal caging systems are used to ensure the security of staff and the public. Areas for cleaning, food distribution, and other animal care features are provided within this building.
This project included the programming, research, and design phases for this 29,000 square foot animal care, adoption, and education facility. The lower level of the building includes different kennel styles for dogs, cats, and small animals designed uniquely for adoption, holding, and isolation functions. The main floor consists of education, animal intake, retail, lobby, exam rooms, and surgery suites as well as support spaces such as storage.
The building exterior is designed with a Prairie School influence to provide an inviting, comfortable image while still using durable, low maintenance finishes. The interiors will include colored-hardened concrete flooring and masonry walls at animal locations while softening the detailing for the customer areas. Finally, the project has been developed with sustainable design features throughout.