Going to the Dogs: Architecture for Animals

As a self-proclaimed crazy cat lady, I’m always looking for new products for my fur babies. Even so, I’m always shocked at the lengths that some people will go for their pets in terms of creature comforts.

Image: If It’s Hip It’s Here

I could totally see myself settling into this mod, minimalist home. It’s a shame it was made for slightly smaller occupants.

Image: If It’s Hip It’s Here

Yep, this tricked-out pad, complete with a spa pool, 52-inch flat screen television, and a retina-scan security system was custom built for a surgeon’s dogs on her property at the lavish Lower Mills Estates in England. The price tag? A mere $382,000 (!!!).

Image: Design Milk

Thankfully, if you are looking for a doghouse that is a little less fido and a little more Frank Lloyd Wright, there are options out there. The custom-made Architectura Modern Dog House by Pre-Fab Pets certainly won’t be an eyesore in the backyard!

Image: Design Applause

The idea of architecture going to the dogs really came to a head this past December, with the Architecture for Dogs Exhibition at Design Miami. The innovative installation provided over a dozen architects and designers with the opportunity to develop the ultimate dog house, each created with a certain breed in mind.

Image: Architecture for Dogs

Some participants, like Kazuyo Sejima, chose to mimic the characteristics of the animal, so that “dog and architecture would become one.”

Image: Architecture for Dogs

Other’s projects resemble conceptual art projects. I’m not sure that many pups would be happy going for a walk in Reiser + Unemoto’s Christo-like Chihuahua Cloud but it sure is cute.

Image: Architecture for Dogs

Torafu Architects really thought about what a terrier might like, creating a simple frame upon which its owner’s old clothes could be stretched, creating a cozy hammock that would have a comforting scent but could be easily washed or changed as needed.

My personal favourite is the interactive beagle playhouse designed by MVRDV. You have to see it in action to truly appreciate it.

Image: The Coolist

I love this project for its creativity and how it challenges already innovative designers to think outside the box of conventional (human) architecture. And I applaud their decision to make all the blueprints available for free, allowing DIY types to build something special for their pets (or even a petless art project). It allows the exhibition to continue on another level, as the curators encourage people to upload pictures of their own versions to the website. Now that’s something to bark about!

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