Bamboo Cat Shelter

A refuge for cats built from salvaged and recycled materials at a community center in Roma, Mexico City. 

Huerto Roma Verde is an outdoor community center located in the heart of Mexico City.  It is home to various nonprofit and local organizations hosting weekly events and activities.  One of the organizations here is a group of seniors who are in charge of rescuing stray cats.  To help create a permanent place dedicated to the care of these animals a plan was created to upgrade the existing shelter to accommodate beds and food storage for about 20-30 kittens.  Only materials found at the center were used for this project which included Tetra Pak panels, recycled bamboo poles, and salvaged wood pieces.  The participants for the construction of this project were local volunteers and architecture students.

For the first step of the project the interior of the structure was reinforced with horizontal bamboo poles.  These provide structural support for the whole shelter and make it less likely to fall apart during an earthquake.  Next, attached to bamboo rods were the Tetra Pak panels which covered 3 exterior sides of the structure.  These panels are made from recycled plastic, aluminum, and carton making them quite sturdy and effective against natural elements like rain and wind.  For the front façade, 2 panels of glass were installed with a door and 2 smaller doors just for cats down below.  The two sides of the shelter that faced the community garden were then covered with bamboo poles cut in half and arranged in a horizontal format creating a unified cladding. A gap was left between the roof and the façade panels to allow fresh air to enter the shelter and circulate outside.