Unable to improve the existing Rehoming Centre in Digbeth, Birmingham Dogs Home made the decision to construct a brand new centre. Upon locating a 12.45 acre site in Birmingham’s Green Belt, the charity required a very detailed environmentally considerate design to obtain planning approval. ONE Creative environments (ONE) were appointed by Birmingham Dogs Home to join a multi-disiplinary team of consultants to realise the charity’s aspirations for a world class animal welfare facility.
Birmingham Dogs Home
£5.5M new build project
Masterplanning, Landscape Architecture,
Birmingham Dogs Home has served the West Midlands region since 1892 but its city central location was poor and lacked any external exercise space for the dogs. The site, located on former agricultural land near Birmingham Airport is a strategically excellent location with good transport links.
The design solution for the new home was underpinned and informed by a comprehensive landscape and visual impact assessment that established the likely impacts the development could have on the sensitive location and guided the design. A landscape-led masterplan was produced to illustrate the sensitiveness of the Green Belt location and enhance the local landscape character.
The design of this new exemplar animal welfare centre involved detailed consultation with the Civil Aviation Authority and extensive planning effort. Planning consent was granted for 128 re-homing kennels, a veterinary suite, administration areas, community rooms, large external exercise and enrichment spaces, car parking, native woodland planting to the boundary and a large, semi- natural grassland area for open day events.
Creating a low impact, light-touch design, the use of subtle ground modelling has helped to create a seamless transition between structure and landscape. The single storey building has a grass roof to minimise its visual impact and the materials used have been carefully chosen to reflect the local agricultural vernacular.
ONES’ Landscape Architects were involved from inception which enabled the best environmentally designed scheme to be produced and resulted in planning permission being granted for this Green Belt site. This demonstrates the team’s exemplary ability to unlock the potential of a site through an in-depth understanding of the landscape and visual constraints.
Clearly identifying the clients’ needs, ensured the design met its functional requirements whilst applying the principles of the “healing landscape” more commonly associated with human health, creating an inspirational, welcoming and calm setting for the well-being of the dogs, staff and visitors. Enhancing the natural environment was paramount; the proposed planting scheme strengthens the landscape character and will result in an improvement in the ecological value of the site.