Barkitecture: The Cutting Edge of Dog House Design

Austin showcase raises funds for rescue
By Lisa Wogan, October 2011

I don’t think any of my friends with dogs have a for-real dog house. Most of the pups in my circle have worked it out so the human home—with its couches, beds, plushy rugs, toys, freshly filled water bowls, etc.—is their “dog house.” With these delights, why would they embrace a small, cold, damp box in the corner of the yard?

Well, the age of the Spartan, Snoopy-style dog house has passed. The passion for home design has seeped into the canine bungalow—I mean, we’re calling them canine bungalows, after all. And perhaps nowhere will you see a more inspiring array of dog houses than at Barkitecture, a showcase and auction of doghouses created mostly by Austin-based architects, designers and builders to raise money for local animal rescue groups. The inventive, often green, designs on display earlier this month have me thinking that outdoor pup palaces could be making a comeback.

Read about the prize-winning designs. My favorites (neither of which won a prize) are La Casita del Sol, which was made with leftover wood and empty clear Sol beer bottles. Perfect for Seattle—capturing what little light there is and keeping the rain off. I also like the Wine Barrel Bungalow made from a cast-off wine barrel and scrap wood. I’m noticing a theme.

Do you have a dog house?