Architecture for Dogs is a new pawject curated by Kenya Hara, the creative director of Muji, which brings together 13 starchitects each briefed to design a structure for a specific breed of dog. We showcase the barkitecture on offer.
It is architectural legend – though pure fact given all the correspondence that exists to prove it – that in 1956 a 12-year-old boy wrote to Frank Llloyd Wright asking him to build a kennel for his dog. “I would appreciate it if you would design me a doghouse, which would be easy to build, but would go with our house...,” wrote Jim Berger. “(My dog) is two and a half feet high and three feet long. The reasons I would like this doghouse is for the winters mainly.” After six months of correspondence, the renowned architect sent the plans free of charge and the first and only Frank Lloyd Wright doghouse was built.
Fast-forward more than half a century and no kennel could match the architectural pedigree of Frank Llloyd Wright’s Fallingwater for Fido. Until now that is. This week sees the launch of Architecture for Dogs, a project curated by Kenya Hara, the creative director of Muji, which brings together 13 starchitects each briefed to design a structure for a specific breed of dog. The designs range from Kayuzo Sajima of Sanaa’s dog bed for a Bichon Frisé that seemingly consists of a ball of white fluff (“Bichons love soft surfaces and snuggling into large blankets,” she says) to Konstantin Grcic’s mirror created for a poodle (they are apparently the only breed of dog that can recognise its own reflection). Other architects in the project include Toyo Ito, Kengo Kuma and Shigeru Ban.
Just as with the Frank Lloyd Wright kennel, dog owners will be able to buy and download the architectural plans at Architecturefordogs.com and online videos will provide clear instructions as to how to build them – barkitecture built for architect’s best friend.
Architect: Atelier Bow-Wow
Barkitecture: Conceived as a series of ramps to bring the daschund to the eye level of its owner.
“We thought about stairs, but their bodies are too long and they risk hurting their hips.”
Architect: Konstantin Grcic
Barkitecture: A mirror for the only breed of dog that can recognise its own reflection.
Architect: Shigeru Ban
Barkitecture: A maze of the architect’s signature cardboard tubes.
Architect: Sou Fujimoto
Dog: Boston terrier
Barkitecture: A canine-sized version of the scaffolding in the architect’s House NA in Tokyo that can also double as storage.
Architect: Kayuzo Sajima of Sanaa
Dog: Bichon Frisé
Barkitecture: A dog bed that seemingly consists of a ball of white fluff that exactly matches the hair of the Bichon Frisé.
“Bichons love soft surfaces and snuggling into large blankets. The typical space designed for dogs in the interior of a house is at the convenience of the human and is frequently a cage-like container you keep in the dark corner of a room. This design however is a warm, inviting version of that crate.”
Architect: Kengo Kuma
Barkitecture: A lattice-like pavilion in Kuma’s signature wood.
Barkitecture: A contemporary take on the traditional kennel form, this is perhaps the world’s first rocking kennel.
“We wanted to give the curious and playful Beagle a space of its own.”
Architect: Hiroshi Naito
Barkitecture: An undulating bed of tubes and wooden blocks.
Architect: Toyo Ito
Barkitecture: A dog buggy with fabric shade that can also function as a dog bed.
Architect: Reiser + Umemoto
Barkitecture: A radical outfit conceived to be comfortable and which recalls the fashion of Issey Miyake.
“We wanted to create something that would make the dog feel protected and safe.”
Dog: Jack Russell Terrier
Barkitecture: The “wanmock”, a structure designed to make a hammock out of T-shirt familiar to your dog.
Architect: Kenya Hara (founder and curator of Architecture for Dogs)
Dog: Teacup poodle
Barkitecture: A staircase inside a box that rises to a platform that perfectly frames your dog and recalls the winning podiums at Crufts.
“I wanted to elevate the dog to human level.”
Architect: Hara Design Institute
Dog: Japanese terrier
Barkitecture: A kennel that suspended from the ceiling seemingly floats above its canine guest.