Title page for ETD etd-08142007-205006

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Butterworth, Mary Michele
Author's Email Address mmbutter@gmail.com
URN etd-08142007-205006
Title Felinus Domus: A Veterinary Hospital for Cats in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia
Degree Master of Architecture
Department Architecture
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Holt, Jaan Committee Chair
Emmons, Paul F. Committee Member
Rott, Hans Christian Committee Member
  • curiosity
  • barrel vault
  • inhabit
  • louver
  • dwell
  • dwelling
  • scale
  • spine
  • proportion
  • animal architecture
  • hospital
  • veterinary
  • pattern transformed to receive an anomaly
  • display windows
  • felis domesticus
  • tail
  • animal medical facility
  • arch
  • cat
  • organic
  • curvilinear
  • playroom
  • vault
Date of Defense 2004-09-10
Availability unrestricted
Throughout time man has discovered that the human form, in all its harmonious proportion, can be used as a guide, gauge and tool to design and build structures. However, the human figure has not been the only organic form used to create architecture. Many animals create dwellings that synchronize with not only their own unique physical characteristics and survival instincts, but with their aesthetic preferences as well. It is logical that a design should respond to its surroundings, program and most importantly, its inhabitants.

This thesis design is for two specific occupants: the cat and the human. They are both meant to inhabit the building wholly and simultaneously. The way each of them experiences and uses the space, however, differs greatly.

For a building to survive it needs many of the same things as living creatures: sunlight, air and movement, to name a few. It also needs to function like a living creature. It must breathe, sleep, respond to the changing seasons, and adapt over time. This thesis is an investigation of how both human and cat can dwell in a building of harmonious proportion, scale, light, and material.

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