Pima Animal Care Center

Pima Animal Care Center


Tucson, Arizona

Replacing an existing, outgrown and outdated facility, the new 60,000 sf. Pima Animal Care Center (PACC), will accommodate the tens of thousands of animals brought each year and allow for more modern animal care practices. The facility’s complex program includes housing for dogs, cats and other species, a veterinary clinic, and admissions, adoptions, administration, licensing, and law enforcement divisions.  Spatial organization is driven by critical pathway planning and adjacencies and allows for staff and volunteers to efficiently operate and provide the best possible animal care services.

Presenting a warm visage, visitors are drawn to a central, shaded plaza where entry points for different zones of the building can be easily seen. Subtle color-coding of these spaces further reinforces intuitive wayfinding. A multi-purpose room opens to a large, shaded outdoor patio, providing flexible meeting public outreach space. Separate staff and volunteer areas are provided natural light and views to improve the daily work experience. Materials including exposed concrete masonry, aluminum-framed glass, special floor finishes, and steel were selected with durability in mind and withstand the extreme conditions associated with housing animals and daily cleaning. Desert-appropriate Xeriscape landscaping, low-water-use fixtures, an energy-efficient direct/indirect evaporative cooling system (backed up by traditional air conditioning for periods of the year when evaporative cooling is ineffective), proper solar orientation, and shading of glazing help the facility reduce utility bills and impact on the environment.

The design of the new PACC helps facilitate the County agency’s goals of ease of use, a sense of welcoming, and improved building efficiency, to help improve public perception, building even more support within the community for the tremendous animal-saving efforts PACC performs every day.

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