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North central animal shelter

The City of Los Angeles improved and modernized this shelter to provide more capacity to house animals and to encourage adoptions. Its proximity to the Los Angeles River prompted us to design a stylized dry streambed to symbolize the LA River flowing across the front of the building. Clumps of iris are planted in a grid in the streambed made up of decomposed granite. Stream-bank trees, native and drought tolerant shrubs, and groundcover flank both sides of the stream. The remainder of the site exhibits plants which are selected to complement or accent the architecture and define the outdoor spaces. Plants representing different plant groups are used for way-finding among the aisles of animal cages for the visitors. The representing plants are fern, tropical flora, flowering shrubs, succulents, and drought tolerant plants.

This is a certified LEED Gold project.


  • 2007 AIA Merit Award Pasadena & Foothill Chapter
  • 2007 McGraw Hill Construction Best of 2007
  • 2010 USGBC Design of Green Award


  • Client : Choy and Associates/City of Los Angeles
  • Status : Civic/Urban Design
  • Location : Los Angeles, California