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Columbia Business Monthly

PAWchitecture Design-Build Contest to Benefit Greenville County Animal Care

Jul 20, 2023 01:48PM ● By Eli Kibler

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Greenville chapter on Tuesday announced its new PAWchitecture design-build competition, which aims to bring together the city’s top builders, architects, and designers to create high-end cat and dog condos. 

The structures will be auctioned off to raise money that will go toward Greenville County Animal Care’s Safety Net Foster Program, which seeks to help pets in need of temporary foster homes. Some of the architecture firms lending teams to this cause include A.M. King, Craig Gaulden Davis, Fathom Firm, KEEL Concepts, and McMillan Pazdan Smith.

The idea for PAWchitecture originally came from the Nichols Architects firm in Miami, which executed a similar project last year through Miami’s AIA chapter and the Miami Center for Architecture & Design.

Thais Rupeika, a community project manager at Nichols Architects, spoke at Tuesday’s press conference, saying, “We are excited by the possibility to integrate with the local community. … After seeing how successful it was, we decided to bring this incredible project to Greenville as well. PAWchitecture is an opportunity to not only bring together creative teams to produce premium-quality structures, but to do it for a charitable cause.”

According to Rupeika, after taking inspiration from various forms of architecture around them, their designers “came up with a piece of furniture that was suited for both humans and pets, offering lasting shelves with open holes where they could explore and hide.”

With a foster dog named Dodger sitting by her side, Paula Church of Greenville County Animal Care said, “These programs are near and dear to our hearts, and we’re so grateful to AIA Greenville for making us a beneficiary of PAWchitecture and to Nichols Architects for bringing this fantastic initiative to Greenville.”

The pet houses will be displayed Oct. 13-30 at Auro Hotels’ Hyatt Regency in Greenville, with the proceeds being presented to Greenville County Animal Care in November. The project’s sponsors include Alice Company, Auro Hotels, Britt Peters, MGC Law, Nichols Architects, and Traveling Chic Boutique. 

According to Church, “Funds raised by this initiative will help us continue caring for pets of families in crisis, helping us further our mission to promote the compassionate treatment of animals in our community.”

To learn more about PAWchitecture, visit or contact [email protected]