Client: The Women's Humane Society
Renovations to lobby, animal shelter, clinic and administrative areas, including master planning. (read more)
In 1869 The Women's Humane Society opened the first shelter in the United States dedicated to saving animals and finding them homes. The Board of Directors sought a master plan for renovations to their current facility in Bensalem to make the building more functional and to make the facility better embody the goals of the organization.
Upon receipt of the Master Planning Study, the Board was so energized that they decided to move immediately into the actual project. Construction documentation is underway and construction is anticipated for summer of 2012.
The existing building has many wonderful qualities. However, for many years there have been functional problems with the design. Before moving to Bensalem, the facility was located in a very different neighborhood where security was a prime concern. Those security concerns led to an overly defensive interior. The current project is intended to make the public areas more welcoming, and to make the staff areas more open and conducive to collaborative work. The animal clinic with its paying hospital clients is an essential source of income to support the shelter. Goals for this area of the building included upgrades to present a more professional appearance, cutting down waiting time and in the words of the client, "creating a sense of hope". Interestingly, we found many parallels between our work at the animal clinic and at the City Health Centers