The new Humane Society of San Antonio and Baxter County represents a revolutionary paradigm in the design of animal shelters: a community center that is welcoming, friendly and pleasant. Designed to include spaces for outreach programs such as pet care and dog training, the striking facility includes an education building as well charitable function space to support the mission of the Humane Society.
“I can’t think of a more inviting adoption center in the United States,” says Larry Connolly, AIA, of Connolly Architects in Austin, a shelter designer who consulted on the project.
More than 20,000 sq. ft. of 24 gauge Galvalume Plus 16” SNAP-CLAD panels became an integral part of the design concept.
As reported in Texas Architect magazine, design for the award-winning project was provided by Alamo Architects, San Antonio. After researching the habits of potential pet adopters, Alamo Architects principal Billy Lawrence, AIA, set about redefining the building type. “Our goal was to create a warm, friendly environment that people would actually enjoy visiting, rather than the typical tense shelter experience,” said Lawrence. “We wanted to create a place that got people in the door and made them want to stay, as well as giving the process of gather, caring for and adopting homeless animals the dignity that it deserves.”
The scale is residential, breaking down a large facility into manageable pieces. Pitched roofs further enhance the residential aesthetic. The roofs—actually shade structures on top of simple box volumes—set at different heights to establish a rhythmic variety from building to building that evokes the feeling of a small community and, according to Lawrence, conveys a sense of home and safety.
Mangold Roofing & Sheet Metal, San Antonio, installed the PAC-CLAD roof. “The SNAP-CLAD panels provided a good system for this job,” said Randy Mangold. “We needed a panel with an architectural look but with industrial strength. The 1 ¾” leg gives good strength and the higher seam allows water to get out quickly on a lower pitch roof. We put the panels over a 3” insulation board and the installation went smoothly. And the system saves labor because we can snap the panels together without having to seam. It’s just a great looking building.”