Florida/Caribbean Architect - Spring 2012 - (Page 17)
BEST FRIENDS PET HOTEL, orlando, fl MATEU ARCHITECTURE, INC., palmetto bay, fl
The main entrance to the hotel is beneath a covered walkway in the form of a tongue, a most familiar greeting image for pet owners.
ALL PHOTOS BY RONEY MATEU, FAIA.
The Best Friends Pet Hotel at Disney World is a one-of-a-kind facility that blends a collection of functionally driven spaces and systems with a sophisticated and fun-filled architectural solution that is appropriate to its place and context. Meshing the complexities inherent in designing pet care facilities with the Disney World mantra of “providing quality entertainment for all park guests and visitors” without being “goofy,” this facility now extends that same experience to canine, feline and pocket pet guests. Architecturally, the design takes its cues from the always “on stage” Disney tenet. Even from a distance, as you approach the facility, guests are visually greeted by a walkway, the cover of which can only be described as an abstracted “tongue,” a greeting well-known to canine owners. While felines are in the minority of occupants, their place is given prominence in the design. The cat “condos” occupy a light-filled room behind a black-tiled wall to the left of the entrance, complete with its own mechanical and air-distribution systems. These precautions exist to
florida/caribbean ARCHITECT | spring 2012
negate airborne contamination between dogs and cats that can be fatal. The arrival sequence allows guests to capture vignettes of canine and feline symbols on the front of the building. From the lobby, the view is to the dog park beyond which features walking trails overlooking the wetlands that surround the site, as well as several large areas of varying terrains for canine exercise including a canine-only splash-andplay water feature. Owners can select pet lodging ranging from 32-square foot all-indoor suites to 226-square foot VIP (Very Important Pets) suites complete with air conditioning, flat screen TV, raised beds, private patios and other a la carte amenities. Canine suites are arranged around a central kitchen and laundry area, including a spa and grooming area visible from the lobby. Mechanical and plumbing systems are as sophisticated as those designed for human hospital uses. All finish materials, both inside and outside, were carefully selected for the appropriate uses of the guests. The project just received an Award of Excellence in Architecture from the Miami Chapter AIA. ■
The success of this project is in the details and the consistency throughout from the cat’s face to the oversized fire hydrants.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Florida/Caribbean Architect - Spring 2012
2012 Legislative Wrap-up
Dr. Phillips Charities Headquarters Building
Best Friends Pet Hotel
Architects: It’s Time to Rethink Product Choices
The Patina of Elephants
Florida/Caribbean Architect - Spring 2012