I was fortunate enough to view six of the nine shelters in advance of the reception. The architectural firms truly outdid themselves in regards to originality! If you haven’t yet done so, be sure to read my post from 1/28 to learn about the Architects for Animals program and how works to serves the feral cats of NYC.
Let’s first take a look at how the two “sneak peek” renderings from my last post turned out in their final completed form. First up, “The Time Machine,” created by Two One Two Design.
David Sepulveda, the architect, explained that the cube-within-a-cube concept is called a tesseract. He went on to mention something about Einstein at which point he lost me. What I did understand is that the structure has various levels – some open air, some closed – in order to provide the cats with a variety of environments. The bottom is where they would sleep, the middle a play area, and the top a roof garden of sorts.
The second rendering we saw a few days ago was “KatHaus,” by Francis Cauffman Architects.
I didn’t get to speak to any of the architects about the finished piece, but I must say I do quite like it. Personally, I find it aesthetically pleasing in shape and color and it seems to be made out of a styrofoam-like material. Funny how “KatHouse” became “CatHouse”! I think my cats would enjoy one of these at home!
While “Hairball,” doesn’t resemble anything I’ve seen any of my cats cough up, it’s one of my favorites primarily because of the texture and color. I could totally see this in my living room! The community cats that get this piece will be the envy of the neighborhood!
I want “Cat Hive” as a sculpture in my home. Sorry, I realize I’m making this all about me and it is about the cats. But doesn’t it look super cool and modern? Maybe someone can drop the architects a hint. Put these wherever you have feral cats and tell the neighbor’s it’s the work of a famous sculpture. I doubt you’d have anyone complaining then!
This fiber glass pod by Mish Mish is on the more organic side. One of the architects explained it was constructed using layers of plastic with insulation, fiberglass and resin. Having cats of her own, she felt quite confident the pod would be attractive to them. Given how closely it resembles a paper bag, I’d have to agree!
The piece above by Carlton is made out of layers of carpeting. It’s open in the photograph to show the shelter space that’s been cut-out of the carpet, but it does closes to protect the cats from the elements. There’s even a small window for them to look out of (on the upper right of the left hand section).
There was also on display an insulated shelter pictured created by Ashot Karamian Designs. They’re for sale to anyone who needs homes for outdoor cats. I didn’t get a good shot from today’s event, so these are from Mr Karamian’s Flickr page where he shows step-by-step how they are created. To purchase one, just email IanHenryNY@aol.
Leslie Ferrell, Director of Client Development at Francis Cauffman Architects and the founder of Architects for Animals thanked the architects by saying, “No animals should have to live on the street, but while thousands are still out there, we want to do what we can to help. I applaud the participating architects for their imaginative creations…”
If the event succeeds in raising the consciousness of those who attend about the plight of homeless cats in NYC than it has succeeded. Hopefully those who attend will go one to share what they’ve learned, donate to help the cause, or even take on a colony to care for themselves.
Do any of you work with TNR or caring for a colony in your area?