The Farm Sanctuary, a national service organization dedicated to the rescue of abused and neglected farm animals, enlisted HOLT Architects' aid for planning a project that would relocate its small animal clinic facility and related staff offices.

HOLT worked with the Farm Sanctuary to develop a space program and identify a site strategy for a new facility. Programmatically, the building requires physical separation of the public spaces from the animal clinic to maintain health levels, while also allowing visual connections for educational and program development purposes. The public spaces consist of a vestibule with donor recognition display walls and a glass-enclosed lobby with windows into various clinic spaces. The clinic spaces consist of durable, efficient, climate-controlled rooms for housing, treating and observing the animals.


Staff offices are located on the second floor to provide additional separation from the clinic. These consist of enclosed spaces and shared offices for flexibility. A small break room/conference room is provided for staff meetings. Loft space above first floor rooms has been captured for additional storage capacity. The second floor is developed to take maximum advantage of views to the exterior and within the interior. This enhances the ability of daylight to penetrate into the building core, and for the staff to interact readily. With operable sash on the office windows, the opportunity to create cross-ventilation from breezes coming up and down the hillside is realized.


The exterior development of the new Melrose Small Animal Hospital recalls the historic massing, materials and elements of traditional barns. These are reinterpreted with modern materials and construction to maximize energy efficiency, durability and longevity, ease of maintenance, and functionality in providing for the animal patients. It also serves as a new symbol for the future of Farm Sanctuary, one that recognizes its roots while looking forward to enhanced service of mission.


For more information about this project contact Graham L. Gillespie, AIA:

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