Dori Edwards, Global Animal
NEW YORK CITY — Moss-covered coolers and recycled aluminum can enclosures are New York City’s newest architectural feats. On January 10, Big Apple architects proudly displayed their designs and constructions.
Three years ago, architect Leslie Farrell established Architects for Animals, a movement to bring attention to the high population of feral cats in the metropolis. Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals’ spokesman Steve Gruber estimates that the number of feral cats in the capital is in the hundreds of thousands or even millions.
According to the NYTimes, Farrell’s goals are “bringing attention to the plight of feral cats and recruiting architects to create shelters that are warm, portable, safe, easy to clean and affordable.”
The aluminum can cat refuge, called the Tin Hut, was created by architectural project manager and founder of the non-profit cat rescue American Street Cat Kathryn Walton. The kitty corner is made with 300 recycled cans, insulated with denim and raised off the ground to keep the cats dry during the winter months.
“We don’t know who sleeps with who,” stated Walton. “But there are some bonded pairs, and this can accommodate up to four cats.” She will place her building in an area crowded with wild cats and monitor it to ensure that when the weather and home get too hot, that she brings it inside.
Many other architects contributed to the cause. Scott Francisco, founder of Pilot Projects, and Anne Chen built a thatched tepee out of branches and brush that he call the DIY NYC Cat Fort.
Sara Silvestri of H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture “made a shelter out of a plastic box set in a cube of PVC pipes, with an entry hole covered in a rubbery circle of window insulation,” reported the NYTimes. The aforementioned cooler cubby was made by Adam and Sofia Zimmerman of Zimmerman Workshop Architecture + Design.
All of these homes were designed and built for less than $100 dollars and are, as Francisco claimed, “Do It Yourself” projects, which means anybody can provide their neighbor cat with a new lifestyle. Thanks to these compassionate architects, these stray cats now have a place to call home.