The new, 57,000 square-foot shelter for Seattle Humane Society is unique for animal shelters. The land the project sits on is deeply sloped which necessitated a three-story design. The main level, with the public adoption entrance, is connected to parking via pedestrian bridges. A separate entrance on the lower level is used for animal intake. Cat adoption and housing in the new facility are located on the main floor. Dog adoption and housing are on the lower level, with adjacent outdoor runs and play yards. The upper level of the building houses administrative offices and a public education pavilion. Part of the site also contains a protected nature area with an existing creek and walking/hiking trails.

Separation of species is imperative to reducing animal stress. While housing animals on different floors was a big step in achieving this, we also consulted with an acoustical engineer to ensure that the building was designed to contain noise between the floors to prevent the sound of barking from reaching the cat housing as a further measure.


The new shelter includes a veterinary hospital which SHS shares with the Washington State University veterinary school. The program provides a working teaching hospital for students and state-of-the-art care for the shelter’s animals. Also included in the shelter is a food bank that provides pet food for homebound community members through a meals-on-wheels-like program.

The new shelter has a capacity of 165 cats and 170 dogs. It was constructed on the same site as SHS’s current facility which remained open during construction.

Project Name

Seattle Humane Society


Bellevue, Washington


57,000 Square Feet

What We Did

Interior Architecture & Design