Children’s Hospital Canine Respite Area

Denver, Colorado

After hours of severing as emotional support for patients, therapy dogs savor time to run and play outside.

  • Berms and mounds of various heights, tunnels, and platforms offer dogs fun challenges and opportunities for different types of play.

  • Thoughtful design touches include a fun, double-gated entryway with cameras that allow patients who cannot leave their rooms to watch the dogs at play.

Dig Studio designed the Canine Respite Area at Children’s Hospital to offer a safe environment for the hardworking Medical Dogs to take a break, let loose, and play. Dig performed outreach and research with Hill’s Pet Food Research Group and Royal Canine Global Innovation Centers to explore innovative play and enrichment features. After extensive site analysis, the team responded with a design that includes interactive, engaging terrain elements for various challenge levels, room to run, and opportunities for human handlers and observers to relax and enjoy watching the dogs play.


Design Highlights Include:
Vertical contrast in the shape and flow of the ground plane through sculptural mounds, berms, a tunnel, paw print platforms, custom-designed shade and entryway structures, and elegant bench seating.

Pet-friendly artificial turf throughout with a sanitation cleaning system.

Seating outside the respite area nestled amongst vertically layered plantings offering a quiet, relaxing place to watch the dogs at play.

The site design engages views from adjacent buildings, with artistic forms, and sculptural expression.

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