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Competition: RSPCA Animal Centres of the Future

Carlisle rspca image by motacilla
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The RSPCA is holding a contest to design a groundbreaking £4.5 million modular base in the north-west of England

The RIBA-backed competition seeks innovative proposals for a new low-cost and sustainable animal centre for the charity which has been rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals for almost 200 years.

The call for concepts aims to identify an exemplar modular system which could be erected on any site in the UK. The competition focuses on a semi-rural 3.2ha pilot site in a yet-to-be-confirmed location. The winning team will be invited to partner with the charity in delivering similar projects across the country.

RSPCA deputy chief executive Chris Wainwright said: ‘Just like our staff, this building is going to have to work really hard. It needs to provide the space and environment where we can care for neglected, abused and abandoned animals but we also want it to be inspiring for staff and welcoming for visitors looking to rehome a pet from us.

‘Our animal centre for the future should have as little impact on the environment as possible and we want architects to keep in mind we are a charity and need to keep costs down. This is a really challenging brief and we are looking forward to seeing some exciting, creative ideas.’

RIBA adviser Sasha Bhavan of Knox Bhavan Architects said: ‘The competition panel are looking for an imaginative, architect-led design team, to deliver the RSPCA’s Animal Centres of the Future initiative throughout the England and Wales. The competition entry centre is in the north of England, and will be first of many.’

Founded in 1824, the RSPCA is the world’s oldest and largest animal welfare organisation, with an annual revenue of around £130 million. It operates four animal hospitals and several centres across the country.

The new animal centre will feature a reception area, meeting room, education space, veterinary suite, staff room, toilets, and storage facilities along with kennels, a cattery and small-animals area.

Proposals are expected to harness modern methods of construction and form the basis for a new generation of low-cost and sustainable animal centres.

Interested teams must complete a short pre-qualification questionnaire with all compliant applicants then invited to submit an anonymous design concept. Five shortlisted teams will be invited to further develop their concepts during the contest’s second phase.

The deadline for applications is 2pm, 26 July.

How to apply

Visit the competition website for more information

Contact details

RIBA Competitions
No 1 Aire Street

Tel: 0113 203 1490
Email: riba.competitions@riba.org

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