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Educan is a dog training school with homes for birds and bats

Dogs aren’t the only animals to get special treatment in this colourful canine training centre near Madrid, which also includes homes for birds and bats.

Educan is a building designed by two Spanish architects, Eeestudio founder Enrique Espinosa and Lys Villalba, with biodiversity in mind.

Dogs standing outside Educan school for dogs, humans and other species
Educan is a training centre for dogs and dog trainers

The building is referred to as “a school for dogs, humans and other species”.

It primarily offers training for both dogs and dog trainers, but also accommodates various “companion species” that support the natural ecosystem of the local area.

Small birds and bats feed on insects such as mosquitoes, which can carry canine diseases, while also contributing to local pollination cycles. Meanwhile birds of prey help to keep rodent populations under control.

Facade of Educan school for dogs, humans and other species
The building also includes habitats for bird and bats, to help boost local biodiversity

Villalba said the aim was to create a building that helps nature to thrive.

“Sitting amongst fields, in a rural environment transformed over recent decades by urban development and intensive pesticide-reliant agriculture, Educan is trialling ways to recover the conditions of the ecosystem,” she said.

Coloured details including red curtain and yellow screen, Educan school for dogs, humans and other species
The building includes training areas, a classroom and a reception area

Constructed from extra-large shipping containers, the 300-square-metre Educan has warehouse-like proportions.

Organised over one storey, it is divided up into three spaces that include a training area that can be easily subdivided, a classroom and a reception area containing a kitchen and toilet facilities.

Interior of Educan school for dogs, humans and other species
The building is constructed from reused shipping containers

The clients, Eva Alda Cano and Marcos González, share the building with two German Shepherds, Bicho and Bomba. It is currently also occupied by 20 sparrows, six kestrel families, five swift families and a barn owl named Harris.

The building’s design offers facilities for all of these different users.

Facade and signage of Educan school for dogs, humans and other species
Sliding glass doors allows the facade to open, while rolling louvres offer shade

The flooring is a concrete aggregate that incorporates river pebbles, to make it better suitable for dog paws, while rolls of synthetic turf can be laid down in the training rooms.

Pyramid foam insulation creates a layer of soundproofing against loud barks, while windows are positioned at heights that suit both dogs and trainers.

Signage perches at Educan school for dogs, humans and other species
Nesting areas for bird and bats are integrated into the building

“The average eye height drops from over a metre and a half, to just half a metre,” said Villalba.

“Interior openings are raised to heights of more than one metre to avoid doggy distractions, while louvred window shutters shade the south facade, leaving enough space below for dog traffic to the outside,” she said.

Water trough at Educan school for dogs, humans and other species
Rainwater is diverted into troughs for the animals

High ceilings create plenty of perches for the building’s bird residents, and each species also has its own dedicated nesting area.

Nests for bats are located in a more surprising location.

They are located within the six chunky letters that spell out Educan on the building’s facade.

The building also integrates rainwater harvesting, providing water-filled troughs for the use of all animal species.

Colour and texture in Educan school for dogs, humans and other species
The building is coloured in vibrant shades of red, yellow, blue and mint green

Educan is brought to life by a vibrant colour palette that includes shades of red, yellow, blue and mint green.

These colours help to bring homogeneity to a highly textured palette of industrial materials, which includes corrugated metal, steel beams, exposed service ducts and pyramid-shaped foam insulation.

Wooden seating in Educan school for dogs, humans and other species
Custom made plywood furniture provides seating for the classroom

Bespoke details riff on these elements, for instance, the wiggle-edge plywood seating and the large circular windows.

“Educan is an experiment that demonstrates how agricultural architecture can also be a place of exploration and architectural innovation,” added Villalba.

Other recent buildings designed with dogs in mind include the Canine and Feline Hotel in Portugal and the Ohio office of dog toy brand and treats brand Bark.

The photography is by Javier de Paz García and José Hevia, as indicated.

Project credits

Architects: Enrique Espinosa (Eeestudio), Lys Villalba.
Client: Adiestramiento Educan
Construction company: Servicios Integrales Alji / Construcciones Metálicas Miguel Torrejón
Building engineer: Javier Reñones Marín
Structural engineer: Mecanismo
Building services engineer: Alberto Espinosa
Technical consultant: Jorge López Hidalgo
Collaborators: Maria Paola Marciano, Irene Domínguez

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