The RIBA has announced the three teams shortlisted in its competition to design a groundbreaking £4.5 million modular base for the RSPCA in the north-west of England
Alma-nac, Nicholas Hare Architects and a collaboration between engineer Gabbitas Gill Partnership and brand designer Fresh Design International have all been selected to proceed to the contest’s conceptual design phase following an open call for applications.
The RIBA-backed competition sought innovative proposals for a low-cost and sustainable animal centre for the charity. It focuses on a semi-rural 3.2ha pilot site in a yet-to-be-confirmed location but aims to create an exemplar modular system that could be erected on any site in the UK.
RSPCA deputy chief executive Chris Wainwright said: ‘We had some fantastic entries and we are excited to have selected three creative designs for the shortlist. We need our centres to provide the best possible environment to care for animals who have had the worst start in life. We need them to be spaces which inspire our staff and offer a warm welcome to visitors looking to rehome an animal.
‘We think these firms have some really interesting ideas and we look forward to selecting the winner and seeing their design benefit thousands of animals in the future.’
RIBA adviser Sasha Bhavan of Knox Bhavan Architects said: ‘The judging panel were delighted by the clearly well-considered responses to the unique and unusual brief. The result is that three impressive candidates were shortlisted.’
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.
The shortlisted teams will now be invited to further develop their concepts during the contest’s second phase, with the winning team invited to partner with the charity in delivering similar projects across the country.