W. Rowell Chase Animal Hospital
Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden
This state of the art veterinary care and research facility attempts to reconcile public and private, recreation and work. It is a purposeful arrangement of simple shapes with precisely controlled openings fulfilling specific purposes. The shallow central block steps back, forming a private courtyard connecting the hospital to an adjacent research facility. One wall of the courtyard is completely glazed, allowing natural light deep into both upper and lower levels and providing expansive views out while shielding staff from sometimes zealous visitors. The southern block fronts a public plaza. Containing surgery and treatment rooms, it is closed with the exception of a glazed corner where visitors can see the zoo’s new arrivals in their nursery. The third block, housing administration, animal holding and the necropsy suite is furthest from the plaza, providing privacy for staff and recovering animals as well as the treatment of deceased animals. A ribbon of windows at the conference room wraps the corner and is positioned to block views of a parking lot in the foreground and focus attention on exhibits beyond. Massing and colors of the exterior are understated and muted, relieved by vivid colors at the openings reflecting the life within.