A reorganized ‘home of pets’ | HDD Group

| 11 : 00 – 11 May 2018 |



Cat graffiti on walls,Cat house, Yellow wall color

Reorganizing overall functions while focusing on individual privacy and relationship between owners and pets, HDD group design a home of pets in Pudong, Shanghai. 

Located in typical old mansion in Shanghai, a family owned 40 cats and 2 dogs staying all together in a cramped up space. Considering the interdependence of the pets with their owners along with meticulous renovation details, the reorganized Home of pets designed by HDD group is a fine example of co existence within the available resources !


Polycarbonate partition, Polycarbonate roofing

Photo – © Yijie Hu

From the Architect’s – 

Background of the project

The project is located in Pudong, Shanghai. It is the basement of a typical Shanghai old mansion in the 90’s. It has all the typical features of Shanghai’s “Old and Small”. In addition to the two mothers and sons, the owner has 40 cats and 2 dogs. Everyone is crowded together to live in this 48 m2 ground floor space.


Flats, Housing

The old mansion. Photo – © Shengliang Su


The entire space is full of cages, and human space is backlogged by extreme limits. At the same time, due to the high density of human pets, the light is dim. Plus various smells are mixed together, making the air quality and health conditions quite bad.


Before and after renovation

Before and after – redesigned spaces

Schrödinger – Superposition of connection and separation between humans and pets


In the high density of human pets, the relationship between humans and pets is the focus of the overall design. The first is the reorganization of the overall functional zoning. The space between humans and pets interlocks with each other, forming two spatial systems of yin and yang. The living room, the second bedroom and the master bedroom form a space for people to live in. While the corridor and the two cabins in the yard form a space for pets. The two spaces bite into one another.

[bctt tweet=”The symbiotic relationship between pets and humans is reflected in their mutual need.” username=”adesignw”]

Therefore, the pet and the person in this scheme are in a superimposed state of connection and segmentation at all times.


Photo – © Shengliang Su


Polycarbonate hollow boards and matte acrylic materials are used to blur the boundaries of different spaces. This allows owners and the pets to see each other walking around. There is a translucent sliding door hidden in the cat’s apartment, this sliding door as a key valve for the pet world and the human world. When closed, the human channel is completely open, and the connection between the apartment and the cat’s light core is also reduced, and the probability that the cat enters it is greatly reduced. At the same time, each floor of the apartment of the cat is associated with the core of light. People in the living room can observe the cats in the activity without any obstacles.


Photo – © Yijie Hu

Space for pets

The overall layout of the whole apartment adopts the functional zoning of the classic modern architecture, which separates the traffic core and the logistics area from the residential area and is vertically connected. All floors are connected in series horizontally, from the dwelling unit to the logistics unit and then to the core drum.


Photo – © Yijie Hu


The main traffic nucleus consists of a light cylinder and an upright stairwell. When the “valve” is closed, the cat is mainly up and down the vertical stairwell. When the “valve” is open, the light cylinder is completely connected to the cat’s apartment get more climbing and jumping space. At the same time, the “cat in the barrel” is also one of the main viewing facilities in the human living room.


Bedroom on to the left side. Photo – © Yijie Hu


The one closest to the traffic nucleus is the cat’s logistics space, and a specially-designed cat box is designed to provide drinking and catering services through the integrated litter area and eating area. The cat litter area provides convenient cat litter service through drawer pull. The water bowl and grain bowl are integrally designed in the same box and are produced uniformly by the factory.


Home of cats


Photo – © Shengliang Su


This product can also be sold separately in the future, and the whole assembly is made of simple 6-point screws. After being unpacked and packaged, it can be put into a 15-cm long parcel package for convenient delivery and transportation. This separate “cat box” distinguishes Cat litter and cat food areas provide an integrated solution for cat lovers, especially cat owners with multiple cats.


Photo – © Yijie Hu

Living unit for cat’s

Finally, the cat’s living unit is composed of a semi-perforated acrylic combined with a movable cat box. The detailed card slot formed by the small edge of the box is combined with the movable perforated flap to prevent the cat from leaving the cat apartment without permission. The owner can gently pull the box outwards, unlock the flap, and open the cell to remove the cat.


Photo – © Yijie Hu


The ultraviolet light tube is installed above the cat’s apartment and can provide sterilization and disinfection. At the same time, a dedicated exhaust fan is installed at the top of the apartment to ensure air circulation and freshness. At the end of the corridor, there is a special kitchen for cats and rice, which is separate from the human kitchen. It provides facilities such as hot and cold water, induction cookers, sinks and so on. It can be used for special cat meals.


Photo – © Yijie Hu


The house of the cat is the house of the dog. There are bathing spaces for the dogs, drying space and hair-blowing space. Between the cat house and the dog house is a “one-meter house” that provides lighting for the main bedroom and also opens a passage between pets and humans.


Photo – © Yijie Hu

Human space

The overall building space is like an animal’s soft body curve, organizing space through different levels of arcs. The paths of these arcs combine with the direction of the beams of the original building, ensuring the integrity and safety of all building structures. At the same time arcs and arches also pay tribute to the classic works of Corbusier.


Photo – © Yijie Hu


The entrance top has a long round arch, and the side walls are combined with cat scales to draw a red and blue ruler. The living room combined with the open kitchen integrated design expands the space experience of the original living room. The living room and kitchen can be flexibly divided by the built-in three-door sliding door.


Living room. Photo – © Yijie Hu


Renovated kitchen space. Photo – © Yijie Hu


[bctt tweet=”The bright space enriches the activity of the small space while making the space brighter and clearer.” username=”adesignw”]


The red, yellow, and blue colors match the overall space and guide pedestrians to streamline. The main color scheme in the living room is yellow and blue, and walks through the yellow ribbon on the ceiling, emphasizing the overall arc feeling. The walls of the blue space extend from the bathroom into the living room. The wall of the home is red, lighting the entire living room space.


Photo – © Yijie Hu


The bedroom mainly uses blue and yellow color matching with the finished furniture. The second bedroom is designed with a folding bed and a floor to provide enough storage space. In combination with the bay window, an oversized work surface was designed.




View – Before and after renovation

Reflection and penetration of light

[bctt tweet=”Translucent materials not only blur the boundaries of different functional spaces, but also provide reflection and penetration of light.” username=”adesignw”]

A light guide was used on the suspended ceiling to introduce outdoor light into the room and reflect it back into the interior space via reflective stainless steel. At the same time, the wall of the hallway is a combination of a polycarbonate hollow plate and a mirror surface. It diffuses light into the room and enhances the illumination of the entire house. The mirror also reflects part of the cat’s apartment into the living room where you can observe the movement of the cat.


Photo – © Yijie Hu

 Photo – © Shengliang Su

Other renovation details

A secret passage was set in the mother’s room to the kennel, which allowed the mother to easily reach the kennel and set up a double door system in it to isolate the noise.


Renovated floor plan


In the cat and dog house, a unique insulated exhaust fan system was designed. It consists of the outermost rain-proof shutters, middle exhaust fan, and innermost sliding window to ensure that the indoor insulation provides ventilation. At the same time, the floor uses imitation floor tiles, the following is a waterproof coating layer. It effectively eliminates the wet problem of the bottom of the old house.


Photo – © Shengliang Su



In the constantly compressed human life, especially in the crowded cities, life always requires people to give up a lot of things, while people are driven by desires, chasing bigger houses, higher incomes and more friends. The circle, in turn, forms the day-to-day anxiety. However, in this design:

[bctt tweet=”“The elegant mix of high-density human pets of 48 square meters” conveys the attitude that no matter what the predicament is, using existing resources, through reasonable design can bring hope.” username=”adesignw”]


Project Details  –


Project Name – Home of Pets

Location – Pudong, Shanghai, China

Architect Firm – HDD(Shanghai Huadu architecture&urban planning co.,ltd.)http://hdd-group.com/zw/index.php

Lead Architect – Hai’ao ZhangHang Xu

Project type – Residential design, Renovation, Interior design

Photography Credits – © Yijie Hu, © Shengliang Su

Completion Year – 2018

Built Up Area – 48 sq. mt.

Structure team – Wang Guoxun

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