The Annenberg Foundation
Swatt Miers Architects
Construction Manager / Owner's Rep
Ganahl Construction Corporation
2018 | ENR Regional Best Project Award of Merit, Mixed-Use
Part animal hospital, part adoption center and part family-friendly destination, Annenberg PetSpace in Playa Vista is a pivot point for rescued dogs, cats and others to transition into new lives and a space to promote animal companionship. Human guests enter into a vaulted lobby, which includes two galleries and a gift shop. Up above on Wally’s Wall, a giant animatronic dog greets them as they proceed to the wall of interactive touch screens to learn about the animal guests. Upstairs, guests can also run on the human-sized hamster wheel while a giant cat toys with them from above. From Wally’s Wall, the space opens up into two turf play yards that provide an area for canine socialization.
In addition to indoor and outdoor play areas, human and animal guests meet in adoption rooms where skylights, interactive flat screens and homey living room decor provide a cozy environment for them to get acquainted. Rooms for dogs also feature stainless-steel portholes so they can sniff their friends next door. Beyond the public areas, animal guests have many more amenities. This working hospital, therapy and recovery center serves traumatized animals and helps them heal through its surgery rooms, an x-ray room, a hydrotherapy treadmill, grooming rooms, relief rooms, isolation rooms and a substantial food-prep area. Upstairs and down, temporary living spaces for animal guests are lit with natural light from rooftop skylights, and all dog rooms have epoxy-resin floors that slope to a flush drain and a spray-down system for easy cleaning.
As a LEED Platinum project, PetSpace uses many healthy building components, including low VOC paint, sealers and adhesives and FSC teak wood reclaimed from Indonesia. Substantial upgrades to the MEPF systems and the structural supports and framing were done to prepare the existing building for its new role. In addition, the entire building is smart. Touch screens control electrified viewing windows into surgery, grooming and physical therapy so that they can be switched from clear to frost when privacy is needed, and cameras throughout the space provide opportunities to stream the antics of the animal guests to people not able to meet them in person.
Photo Credit: Elon Schoenholz