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Wright Inspires Project with Purr-pose

Friday, February 15, 2013

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Architecture buffs and cat lovers, unite!

Florida Southern College, which boasts the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright-designed buildings in existence, will now feature six more structures inspired by the iconic architect.

Alvesgaspar / Wikimedia Commons

Temporary Frank Lloyd Wright-style cat dorms will soon be scattered across the Florida Southern College campus. The goal is to reduce the stray population.

However, the new additions will provide shelter for felines, not humans. Indeed, architecture in its purrest form.

Cafes for Cats

That’s right. Reports say concrete shelters called “cat cafes” will soon be peppered across the scenic campus in Lakeland, FL, providing a forum for the estimated 100 stray cats roaming the area.

The 5-by-3-foot cafes were designed by Mesick Cohen Wilson Baker Architects of Albany, NY, which has completed renovation projects on several of Wright’s buildings at FSC. The cafes are to be built by Rodda Construction Inc.

cat cafe
Mesick Cohen Wilson Baker Architects

The structures will provide shelter for the dozens of feral cats that roam the campus.

Note: These structures are not the same as cat cafes popular in Asia, where non-pet owners can stop in for a snuggle and a kind meow with their latte.

Saving Strays

The community cat spaces at FSC have a purpose besides paying tribute to mid-century architecture.

They will play a role in the Lakeland SPCA's plan to capture, spay or neuter, and release the animals back at the college, according to reports. The organization says the campus cat population will decline on its own under the program.

A sorority has signed up to provide food for the cat cafes, in order to lure the animals for capture and to maintain and monitor them, reports note.

Wright designed 18 buildings for the college between 1938 and 1955; 11 were actually constructed. Wright considered his design for the campus as one of the most important in his career, according to Mesick Cohen's website.

Past Cat Designs

This isn't the first time that Wright has been associated with structures for cuddly companions .

Wright cat house

Wright's office reportedly designed this cat house for a client's daughter in the 1950s.

Apparently, his office designed a cat house called "Felis Catus" back in the 1950s for the daughter of a client. As legend has it, Wright described the kitty palace design over the phone to a project site supervisor, who then completed the architectural drawing.

Both the vintage cat house and drawing are currently on sale for $14,500 on 1stdibs.com.


Tagged categories: Architecture; Design; Designers; Frank Lloyd Wright

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