Battersea Dogs and Cats Home

Jonathan Clark Architects, London, 2016


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The site lies tightly boarded between two existing railway lines 

Hufton + Crow     Download Original

  • The site lies tightly boarded between two existing railway lines    
  • The new building is a pixelated patchwork of blues    
  • Coloured geometry is a design theme    
  • View of the cladding    
  • The charity has a new flagship building    
  • The offices offer spectacular views    
  • The Home is a world-leading veterinary hospital    
  • Circulation space    
  • Blue is the principal colour    
  • Inside a surgery theatre    
  • Masterplan    
  • Site plan    
  • Basement floor plan    
  • Ground floor, first floor, second floor and seventh floor plans    
  • Third floor plan    
  • Fourth floor plan    
  • Fifth floor plan    
  • Sixth floor plan    
  • Seventh floor plan option 2    
  • Roof plan    
  • Sections AA and BB    
  • Elevations    
  • Externall wall cladding detail section    

This eight-storey veterinary hospital, training and administration building creates a landmark facility.

The project comprises a new veterinary hospital, training centre and administration block, providing significantly enhanced facilities for the Home and bringing previously dispersed functions together under one roof.  

The most striking thing about the new building is its colour: a pixelated patchwork of blues, riffing off the two corporate colours of the Home and intended to make the building act as a distinctive beacon for it. The façade, which is floodlit at night, is formed of glazed terracotta tiles that rise in tall vertical panels of varying widths, interspersed by strips of glazing – a verticality intended to echo that of the nearby power station.

The complex set of functions of the brief – from cages for cat flu cases to a corporate fundraising suite – are accommodated logically and matter-of-factly stacked on top of each other: from ground-floor hospital (above basement plant room and staff showers), through laboratory, laundry and hospital offices; a training and conference floor; then four floors of administration: fundraising, marketing, operations and HR. On the top floor is a boardroom and multi-use function room, which can accommodate 190-230 seated people, depending on arrangement, for lectures or host fundraising events.

The structure negotiates a low-level goods rail line to the north-east, and a Southern railway line constructed over the arches to the west. Due to the poor ground conditions and to minimise effects on the adjacent buildings and railway lines, the decision was made to found the building on a piled raft basement slab, which required the installation of some 180 piles 20m deep. This provides enough rigidity to guard against the anticipated movement caused by nearby tunnelling works. 

Above ground, a reinforced concrete superstructure consists of flat slabs spanning up to 8.3m between reinforced concrete walls and columns. With limited vehicular access on site, the structure was constructed in-situ to reduce the need for transportation and delivery of larger building components. 

The specification and selection of the cladding system considered the access restrictions of the site, potential of corrosion from ferrous particles due to the proximity of busy train lines, ease of maintenance and durability.


  • Begun: Nov 2014
  • Completed: Jul 2016
  • Floor area: 4,000m2
  • Sector: Healthcare
  • Total cost: £18M
  • Procurement: JCT Construction Management
  • CO2 Emissions: 17kg/m2/year
  • Address: 4 Battersea Park Road, London, SW8 4AA, United Kingdom

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