There was a time when “being in the doghouse” was a bad thing. Not any more.
These days, canines are clamoring to be able to call what were once doghouses their “cribs.” That’s right, these styling structures range from Gehry-inspired dwellings, perfect for your modernist Maltese, to “Paw-vilions” built for the most discriminating of pugs. And what Chihuahua wouldn’t quiere to have his own south of the border ciudad – complete with adobe structures and colorful mosaic tiles.
The doghouse has become an extension of owners’ styles (or the styles that they feel befit their four footed friends), which range from contemporary, rustic, or classical to just plain eccentric. Bottom line— people find pleasure in assigning their tastes to their pets.
And now architects all over the country are participating in competitions for designing the perfect home for the pet set—some plan traditional outdoor structures, but many more opt for pet boudoirs. Museums, galleries and non-profit organizations are scheduling competitions enticing local architects let their creative spirits soar.
This year, the SPCA of Texas is sponsoring its second annual competition. Last year’s successful event raised $25,000 and featured a ‘cat whinery’ made of old crates of Bordeaux, a high-steepled cathedral most appropriate for a spiritual pet, and a carpeted Eiffel Tower structure, purrfect for the feline that loves a panoramic view of the living room. This year too promises to be a showstopper! One firm, participating for it’s second year, has decided to give the cats a fair shake and design something uniquely feline akin to last year’s entry Spikes Shag Shack. Reportedly, they have had many-a-closed door meeting, discussing the habits and preferences of their own cats in order to design the perfect kitty abode. Their conclusions are very hush hush at this point.
White Box, a Manhattan art gallery, also offered itself to the dogs this year! A full service stop for dog enthusiasts, they invited local trainers, scholars, and dog lovers alike to listen to lectures on different doggie idiosyncrasies, and urged all to brainstorm on the perfect pad for a pooch! The winner of the competition was called “dog stream 3,” created by Michael Tally of Firebrand, Inc. Geared for the urban hound, this looked to be a cross between a mobile home and a toaster and was faux fur lined for extra comfort.
The four-footed Floridians got in on the action too, as the Norton Museum in West Palm Beach hosted an exhibition at which attendees could bid on designer dog beds. Not geared for outdoor living, these designs offered pups some beautiful indoor spaces that would be theirs and only theirs. One over-the-top space even had Grecian columns, black and white marble floors and a chandelier, as the designer contended, “every dog should live in a palace.“
– Natasha Black