The competition looked to attract architect-led teams from across the UK whose skills in collaborative working and innovative thinking can inspire the next generation of animal centres. With animal welfare at its heart, the new centre will need to offer an element of visitor experience, be sustainable and sympathetic to its landscape whilst providing an intelligent response to the practical requirements of the client.
This centre will become an exemplar for future projects around the UK and the RSPCA hopes to retain the winning team as their preferred supplier to work with them on future developments.
The RIBA Competitions evaluation panel includes Sasha Bhavan of KnoxBhavan Architects as the RIBA Adviser.
Chris Wainwright, deputy chief executive of the RSPCA, said: “Just like our staff, this building is going to have to work really hard. It needs 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.”
Sasha Bhavan, RIBA Adviser 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”
The initial phase of the competition required teams to a complete a short pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ). Teams who submitted a compliant PQQ are invited to submit a concept design anonymously, in digital format only. Five concept designs will then be shortlisted for further development at the second phase.