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Helen Woodward Animal Center

Rancho Santa Fe, CA

The much-acclaimed Helen Woodward Animal Center has operated on its 12-acre grounds in Rancho Santa Fe since 1972. For over four decades, the nonprofit has served animals and humans alike—providing humane care and adoptions for pets, while bringing therapeutic and educational services to its community.  In this transformative remodel, Helen Woodward’s existing adoptions building will be replaced by a new center, including kennels, administrative areas, viewing areas, and state-of-the-art veterinary facilities.

In designing the new adoptions center, Studio E Architects endeavored to create buildings that achieved a sense of harmony with their surroundings. Taking cues from the agricultural and ranching history of its environment, our design features uncomplicated, barn-like forms through a series of interconnected structures. With its honest materials and classic, dramatic roof forms, the facility finds beauty in simplicity. Large roll-up doors connect to courtyards and outside spaces; high ceilings, ample natural lighting, and expansive windows establish a sense of flow between indoors and outdoors. Throughout, passive cooling techniques offset energy use and increase thermal comfort. Open and bright, with high ceilings and skylights, the center is simultaneously functional and welcoming—creating a useable sanctuary for both pets and people.  


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