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Location: Oconomowoc, WI
Size: 6,000 sf
Program: Wildlife Rehabilitation Center

After many years of making due in an old farm house, the Wildlife in Need Center forged a deal to locate their new facility at the nearby UW-Waukesha field station. Architect Joe Galbraith* was brought in to guide a design process that would; respect the ongoing native landscape restoration, minimize disruption to local water ecology, and create a functional center to treat and rehabilitate injured wildlife.

The understated design acts in complete harmony with the surrounding prairie grasses and pines. Simple forms and natural materials cast a humble backdrop for the lively and colorful plants and animals. The windows are carefully designed to respect the activity of wildlife and to minimize bird strikes. The building was arranged to work with the natural topography and to minimize earth moving on the site. The facilities roof is oriented to collect rainwater for use in the care of animals. The parking lot is constructed of porous pavers, which allows rainwater to soak into the ground and not run-off into neighboring streams. No retaining pond was required due to the rainwater features in the building and site. Inside, the building houses staff offices, meeting space, animal surgery rooms, and recovery rooms for various animals. A fifty foot long raptor flight cage is also integrated into the facility for rehabilitating birds of prey, such as red-tailed hawks.

This projects serves as a model in how to touch the land lightly, while meeting all of the technical demands of a licensed wildlife rehabilitation facility. Respecting the habitat of wild animals is the best way to protect them.

*project was designed while employed at the Kubala Washatko Architects