Barkitecture by Fred Albert showcases breathtaking dog houses by Angie McKaig
From the inside flap: “Featured in Barkitecture are some of the most inspired and fantastic abodes for dogs ever built. In addition to doghouses by architects — Wright, Gwathmey, Antoine Predock, Centerbrook and NBBJ, for example — there are works by notable interior designers like Robert Couturier.”
Barkitecture is a tribute to the fabulous homes we silly humans love to build or buy for our beloved pets. Dozens of truly spectacular dog houses are featured in full color with details on their design, construction, and the dogs who call them home. It is at once a history of dog houses, a fun coffee table book, an inspiration for your own designs and a resource for those looking to have a doggy home designed for their pampered puppy.
Architecture and design writer Fred Albert begins the book with a brief history of dog houses. He discusses famous dog houses of the past such as ones built for dogs owned by Marie Antoinette, the Earl Bishop of Derry, Washington Irving, and Lyndon Johnson. Lyndon Johnson, in particular, made a number of additions to his doghouse including heat, floodlights, and a Dutch door so he could pet his dogs without releasing them.
But the real fun begins with the collections of dog houses from the present. The book is divided into four parts: Putting on the Dog (designs inspired by historical architecture), Modern Barkitecture, A Breed Apart (original designs inspired by the world around us) and Puppouri (a quirky mix of designs that didn't fit into the other categories).
These dog houses are impressive, to say the least. “Chessie's Doghouse” (above left), for example, is modeled after an eighty-year-old children's playhouse. It's made from antique, hand-hewn beams and topped with an authentic thatch roof. “Chateâu du Chien” (above right), designed by architect Norman Sandler, is topped with a copper roof. Its clerestory windows are inscribed with the names of famous dogs, and the interior features a granite floor and an inlaid Indian prayer rug.
Other homes of note include “Budapet” by Holey Associates in San Francisco, which brings to mind the words “doggy loft” with its clean lines, raised floor and louvered window. “Lassie Come Home” by Smart Design, LLC, is an adorable theme dog house made from a vintage console TV, complete with TV antenna and shag carpeting. And Merry (Pampered Puppy's mascot) would look fabulous in “On the Road to Zanzibar”, a fabulous paisley pup tent complete with a topper of ostrich feathers, jeweled doggy dishes and a Persian runner leading to the pillow-filled chandelier-lit tent interior.
A handy reference list at the end of the book points you to the various designers and owners whose work is featured. If you've got the means and the will, this book proves there's nothing you can't do for your pampered pet! I highly recommend this book for dog lovers of all shapes and sizes. Makes a great coffee table book, and a great conversation piece as well.
Barkitecture by Fred Albert is published by Abbeville Press and is available from Amazon.com as well as your local bookseller.