If you aren’t greeted by a wagging tail and a booming bark when you enter the door, you are living in a house, not a home. The Architecture for Dogs exhibit plays on our adoration for these furry creatures by putting their needs at the forefront. The exhibit displays the work of sixteen world-renowned architects, including Kuma Kengo and Sou Fujimoto. Each of these architects has created a unique home… for a dog.
After a successful stint in Miami, the exhibit makes its European debut, in the heart of Kensington, at Japan House London. The dog homes have been designed with a specific breed in mind and are heavily influenced by the physical attributes and personality traits of these breeds.
Mobile Home: TOYO ITO
Dog Cooler: HIROSHI NAITO
The Mobile Home dog house is designed with a soft cushion for comfort and an adjustable shade to protect the Shiba Inu in rain or shine. The basket is also close to the ground so the animal can enter and exit their home independently.
The Dog Cooler is dedicated to the architect’s beloved dog, Pepe. The poor Spitz suffered in the summertime because of his fluffy coat. Naito has successfully eradicated this problem by creating a cooling device. He has inserted a bag of ice into an aluminium pipe and added wooden slats to provide the animal with more grip when using the device.
Mount Pug: KENGO KUMA
I See You! ASIF KHAN
Pugs get a bad rep for their never-ending array of health ailments and for being generally quite unattractive. But what pugs lack in full breathing capacity, they make up for with their playful, buoyant personalities. These creatures love to roam and Kengo Kuma has incorporated this into his design. He has used 600mm plywood pieces to create a multilayered structure to entice the pug to play.
Asif Khan (a London-based architect) is a new addition to the exhibit. His design is for ‘dogs with black fur’ and the piece mimics the traditional exploratory route a dog follows. A dog will typically begin sniffing lower down and gradually move their snout upwards as they progress with their search. Asif has designed a smooth craterlike centre at the top of the piece for the dog to reside in. It is both comfortable and high enough for the animal to be centre stage in any room.
Paramount: KONSTANTIN GRCIC
Poodles are known for their high level of intelligence and their obsession with appearance. Grcic draws on these stereotypes in his Paramount design. He includes a decadent rug for the poodle to gently climb over and a podium for the dog to sit on whilst staring at themselves. The lighting on the mirror enhances the poodle’s viewing experience, as it provides a better vantage point.
No dog, no life! SOU FUJIMOTO
Fujimoto’s designs usually transition smoothly from the outdoor to the indoor. They do not typically include physical barriers. ‘No dog, no life’ follows this same pattern, incorporating a fluid design with no doors.
Fujimoto’s initial design idea was a spherical structure to demonstrate the Boston Terrier’s fondness for playing with balls. This idea was abandoned after an unsuccessful test run, where the dog struggled to enter the home.
The final design concept uses small square panels of hinoki (Japanese cypress). These are arranged in a grid-like shape to resemble a cubed shelf. The upper shelves contain objects for both the human and the dog. The animal itself is depicted as integral to the structure of the house, as it occupies a central position in the design.
The Architecture for Dogs Book
An Architecture for Dogs book accompanies the exhibit. It provides additional insight into each of the displays and delves into the fascinating backgrounds of the architects. Blueprints are also included in the book to help readers to recreate the doghouses in their own homes. In effect, becoming their own architects.
To purchase the book or to buy tickets for the event, visit the Japan House London website today. Pets are more than welcome!
The event finishes on 10th January, so don’t paws for thought…