London Gets its First Ever Dog Architecture Exhibition

Forget wire crates, these artist-designed kennels are for the more discerning dog. Everything from elaborate mosaics and intricately woven wicker to brightly coloured building blocks have been used for these one-off pieces of canine architecture, created by the likes of Zaha Hadid Design, Denizen Works and Serena De La Hey.

Almost 70 of these intricate doghouses are on show at locations around central London, from 19 March to 26 April, as part of BowWow Haus London – created by the Blue Cross, the Outdoor Arts Foundation and photographer Drew Gardner.

Denise Jacques of Mosaic Happy

Denise Jaques of Mosaic Happy, Farnham, Surrey. A kennel built from wedi board and jesmonite and adorned with more than 3000 pieces of glass and took more than 400 hours to build. It is pictured with ‘Ivy’ the Bichon Frise. Image: Drew Gardner

Denizen works Cantifix and Arrant Land

London based Denizen Works, Cantifix and Arrant Land. A glass kennel designed to hold 2000 tennis balls.
Image: Drew Gardner

Formation Architects

‘Rosie’ the border terrier in kennel built by Formation architects of London, which functions as a piece of furniture with a storage area for dog toys in the roof. Image: Drew Gardner

FT Architects

FT Architects with Bruce Oldfield, A gold chrome egg shaped kennel with a plush red interior. Border terrier is modeling. Image: Drew Gardner

The project brings together pieces by architects and artists from around the world who are keen to reinvent the kennel. The traditional pitched roofs and timber panels are nowhere to be seen, replaced instead by a dizzying array of unconventional doghouses.

For pups that like to sleep in style, Bruce Oldfield and FT Architects have created a reflective golden orb – helpfully lined with plush red cushions – while for the more minimalist mutt, Hasan Al Rashid has designed a stripped back wooden kennel with curved cut-out windows.

Another highlight is the Danny Steadman and Russian For Fish’s bright orange dome – perfect for the pooch with delusions of grandeur.

Wooden Kennel Hasan Al-Rashid

Built by Hasan Al-Rashid, a student at the Architectural Association School of Architecture. The K3, (K Cubed), a play on the term K9 is a simple object. Made from layers of Plywood, which have been hand sanded and polished. It took more than 100 hours to build. Posing in the kennel is ‘Bailey’ the Havanese dog. Image: Drew Gardner

BowWow Haus London has been a year in the making, and follows on from its US incarnation. “It’s been 15 years since the first BowWow Haus in America and to have architects and artists from all over the world coming together to exhibit their extraordinary pieces in one of the most vibrant cities for arts and culture in a country that I adore is just simply magical,” says founder and Outdoor Arts Foundation executive director Jay Goulde.

Tee Pee Mosaic Kennel Natalie Guy

‘Pepper’ the Mini Schnauzer models the Spring flower octagonal Tee Pee mosaic kennel by Natalie Guy of Bournemouth. Made from a marine ply chassis and adorned 540 iridescent glass flowers of 5 petals each making up 2,500 pieces (hand-cut) with mirror centres and white buds. It took a month to design and build. Image: Drew Gardner

Russian for Fish Architects

This fun design is designed and built by London architects Russian for Fish. It is inspired by St Basil’s cathedral in Red square, Moscow and built from shaped plastic and the orb is decorated with real gold leaf. Modelling is ‘Ruby’, one of only 50 pedigree Russian Toy Terriers. Image: Drew Gardner

Willow Kennel Serena de la Hey

The Dog on top of the kennel is built by Serena de la Hey of Somerset and the kennel is built by Coates English Willow who have been growing willow for 7 generations on the Somerset levels. The Kennel is made from more than 500 metres of willow and took more than 100 hours to design and build. Posing in the kennel is ‘Flossie’ the Springer Spaniel. Image: Drew Gardner

PET House Spark Architects

Made by Spark Architects, London. SPARK has used the opportunity of designing a doghouse for BowWowHaus to highlight the global problem caused by the flagrant use and dumping of plastic. They have upcycled “PET” plastic water bottles to form a lightweight doghouse. Posing in the kennel is ’Toffee’ the Labrador cross. Image: Drew Gardner

TLA Studio

Designed and built by TLA studio of London. It is made from 12 pieces of wood with a rope base. The ingenious design allows the whole thing to be folded flat. Posing in the kennel is whippet ‘Poppy’. Image: Drew Gardner

Cloud Zaha Hadid Design

Cloud by Zaha Hadid Design. With ‘Ziggy’ the Portugese water hound. Dubbed Cloud, ZHA’s is a sort of elevated, hollow plywood sphere designed to keep a pup’s paws off the cold ground. For their part, ZHA’s team seemed thrilled to be involved. Image: Drew Gardner

The collection of doghouses will be on display at St Pancras International, Stratford International, the Town Hall Hotel, the Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire and other locations around London, before being auctioned on 26 April.

If you can’t make it down to the gala event at the Renaissance St Pancras hotel, but are keen to bag a kennel, there’s also online bidding available, and doghouses can be shipped around the world. Money from the sales will go to support the Blue Cross, which looks after injured and abandoned pets.

Emma Tucker is a London-based writer and editor, who's been covering all things design-related for the past six years. After studying English Literature she spent several years working at magazines including Dezeen and Creative Review, before going freelance. Emma's now a regular contributor to several magazines, including The Spaces and Pitch, and also works with design brands on copywriting and editorial projects. On a day-to-day basis she's assisted by puppy PA and cockapoo Bear.

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