Helen Woodward Animal Center Education Building

Rancho Santa Fe, California


30,000 SF

The Helen Woodward Animal Center Education Building, situated within the serene surroundings of the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe, is designed to foster a profound connection between visitors and the diverse creatures that inhabit our planet. This $7.5 million project encompasses a harmonious blend of indoor and outdoor spaces, thoughtfully crafted to offer a captivating hands-on educational experience for individuals of all ages.

The 10,000 SF indoor area comprises six distinct classrooms, each dedicated to a specific theme. These classrooms are cleverly arranged on either side of the building, connected by open walkways that facilitate interaction between spaces of different themes. Each classroom within the education center represents a distinct realm of the natural world. The Ocean Room will immerse visitors in programs centered around fish and sea life, while other rooms like the jungle and woodlands will offer an in-depth exploration of animals specific to those geographical regions. This thematic approach creates a dynamic and immersive learning environment, catering to the diverse interests and curiosities of guests.

One of the highlights of the education village is the variety of animals that will inhabit the space. The 20,000 SF outdoor spaces are thoughtfully designed with interactive playgrounds where children and adults can engage and bond with animals like llamas, goats, rabbits, guinea pigs, snakes, birds, and insects allowing visitors of all ages to observe and learn about them up close. The Pet Encounter Therapy (PET) program also takes the animals from the facility to visit nursing homes or hospitals to aid in the reconnection with nature for those with special needs.