Named The ARK at JFK, the building designed by international architecture firm Gensler will be constructed on a 14-acre (5.6 hectare) site at John F Kennedy International Airport in New York.
The 178,000-square-foot (16,500-square-metre) terminal will contain quarantine facilities, a veterinary hospital, a diagnostic library, and a care centre offering training, spa and grooming services for cats and dogs. The model is "anticipated to effectively transform the air transport of animals worldwide," said Ark Development, a subsidiary of the American real-estate company Racebrook Capital.
Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine is consulting on the project, and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is offering guidance and cooperation. "The Ark will be the first ever USDA-approved, full-service, 24-hour airport quarantine facility for the import and export of horses, pets, birds, and livestock," said John J Cuticelli Jr, chairman of Racebrook Capital.
Paradise 4 Paws, an Illinois-based company, has signed on to be a tenant. The company will manage the facility's 20,000-square-foot (1,860 square metre) "pet resort" for dogs and cats. The facility will also offer large animal-handling systems and "departure lounges", where horses and livestock will be able to rest and receive appropriate care while waiting for their travel documents to be processed. The animals will be housed in climate-controlled stalls with bedding and natural light. Aircraft will be able to park at the terminal's loading docks, enabling an efficient and safe travel experience that "significantly reduces stress on animals," according to the developer.
A vacant cargo facility is being demolished to make way for the new animal terminal.
The developer aims to have most of the $48 million (£30 million) project complete within the first quarter of 2016.
Gensler is working with Lachlan Oldaker Equine Design and Temple Grandin Livestock Handling Systems on the design of the building.
Images courtesy of ARK Development.