Innovative transformation

Brief: Turn this tired building in need of urgent repairs into a modern and spacious but inviting space from which to run a busy, well-established veterinary practice. The refurbishment has to be multifunctional and the finishes are to be highly durable as well.


The building was old and had many ill-conceived extensions in the past. There were issues with water ingress through the roof and the floor plus water pipes leaking and sewerage overflows.

This building was transformed with a new front façade and an enlarged reception area. Reworking the interior spaces make them more user-friendly. The new roof height had to be incorporated into the differing roof pitches of the existing building. And, the building was brought up to the latest standards for disabled access as well as for fire, emergency access and egress, and emergency lighting.

The most challenging aspect of this build was that all of this was completed while the veterinary hospital was open and fully functioning. A vet hospital has unique requirements that had to be accommodated for during construction; such as keeping cats and dogs (and their owners) separate, and a green area to be used as an animal “relief spot” on entering the building (a place to wee). All of this created logistical issues, but with proper planning and execution, the transformation went smoothly.


  • New entry incorporates easy navigation for people and animals
  • Front façade includes steel posts to add interest while disguising their load-bearing capacity
  • Curtain wall glazing allows light penetration and provides a calming view of the fern garden while softening the harsh outlook onto the car parking area
  • A fern garden located in the middle of the building provides a sense of tranquillity
  • The soaring ceiling of the reception area gives a sense of spaciousness
  • Attractive recycled timber reception desk joinery