Proper medical care for four-legged family members can be an out-of-reach expense for some. So, the goal of Emancipet, a spay/neuter- and veterinary-services provider, is to make it affordable and accessible to all. The goal of Lauckgroup, now part of Perkins + Will, was to design a new, 3,900-square-foot clinic for the nonprofit at no cost. The original brief for the renovation of a retail space in Austin, Texas, was simple and modest. But donated furnishings and contractor services elevate the project. “Everyone was willing to step up,” interior design director Lina Murillo says.
The space is playful but not overly whimsical. It’s not immediately obvious, for example, that artificial turf fills the extruded-aluminum signage at reception, which is divided into two areas, so cats wait safely away from dogs. Further in, plaques with frisky pet-related imagery identify the six exam and X-ray rooms. “They’re a small surprise that can make an anxious owner smile before going in,” Murillo notes.
Naturally, durability was key, the team selecting sealed concrete flooring for a large percentage of the materials palette. But its industrial quality is tempered by a feature wall of distressed redwood planks formed into a pitched doghouse shape. On another wall, acrylic silhouettes of water bowls are engraved with donor names.