Architecture for Dogs asks world-class architects and designers to work at the canine scale
Architecture for Dogs brings the creative craft of architecture to a fresh clientèle: man’s best friend. Founded by Kenya Hara (creative director of MUJI) with Imprint Venture Lab, this new venture scales architecture down to accommodate smaller canine occupants. Its first collection includes 13 breed-specific structures developed by well-known architects - with, for example, Shigeru Ban designing for the Papillon and MVRDV for the Beagle.
The idea might appear kitsch and a way to make a quick buck of pet-lovers, but the surprising thing is that these are actually self-build kennels which are free to download. The website features pictures, blueprints and instructional videos for the public to construct their own versions. The organisers, who are encouraging people to upload their efforts to the website, see this as the first venture to involve the general public in a design-construction process through on-line interactivity.
Architecture for Long-Bodied-Short-Legged Dog
Architect: Atelier Bow-Wow
Breed: Dachshund Smooth
The architects claim that the short legs of dachshunds make it difficult to meet their masters’ eyes. The folded slope allows the dog to raise their elevation, and the structure is long enough for a person to lie down also. The design is modular allowing the owner to connect several to form a network of ramps and platforms.
Architect: Kenya Hara
Breed: Teacup Poodle
Kenya Hara created the device-cum-installation as a means to equalise human scale and dog scale, naming it a scale modifier. Most of our surroundings are developed to the proportions of an adult human from stair risers to door frame widths. The modifier highlights how those of different sizes (in this case dogs) must adapt to function within our environments.
Architect: Kengo Kuma
This dog house is a mountainous assembly of thin 600mm plywood branches forming a perforated dome. By combining the unevenness of each branch to form in hexagon and triangle, the elements support each other creating a free standing structure without glue or nails. Pug dogs are notoriously mischievous and are likely to make us of the dome as a climbing frame while toys and snacks can also be hung from the timber mesh.
Beagle House/Interactive Dog House
Architect: MVRDV (Elien Deceunink/Mick Van Gemert)
Challenged to design for dogs, MVRDV decided to give the animal a space of its own that could be placed inside rather than in a domestic garden. Starting with the archetypal form of a dog house through modest adaptations the house has become an elegant and playful object. Every time the dog enters or exits, the house answers with a subtle motion wobbling as the dog moves around inside.
No Dog, No Life!
Architect: Sou Fujimoto
Breed: Boston Terrier
Sou Fujimoto designed a living space for the dog, as well as furniture for the owners. The hollowed out interior section of the lattice functions as the dog’s residence, while on top of the clear shelves are stored various things for either dog or humans.
Mobile Home for Shiba
Architect: Toyo Ito
Toyo Ito’s well-ventilated wooden basket is lined with a soft, fluffy cushion and an adjustable shade for sunshine or rain. The crate floor is designed to be as close to the ground as possible so that the dog could board and disembark by itself. Ito said of his design:
‘Whether it rains all day, or the asphalt is hot, whether the dog has aged and its legs and loins are sore, dogs want to go out for a walk with their owners everyday. I conceived of this “doghouse for walks” as a way to at least slightly lighten the burden on dogs in these circumstances.’
Architecture for Dogs
This spring, flat-packed versions of the collection will be available to purchase ready-to-assemble. The project will continue to evolve until its final exhibition at Tokyo’s Toto Gallery in October 2013