We all know (or might even be) someone who treats their pet dog like their own child, yet few could claim to actually build a house specifically catering to the emotional and physical needs of their dog.
One homeowner in Beijing can satisfactorily boast of the lengths she went to, when she commissioned Atelier About Architecture to construct a home for herself and her German Shepherd that could foster holistic wellbeing for the both of them.
The Dog House is spread across three levels: the kitchen, dining room and living room on the first floor, the dog’s bathroom and activity space in the basement, and the owner’s main bedroom and entertaining area on the second floor. Almost all the design features in this build stemmed from meeting the dog’s needs before the owner’s – for example, due to a dog’s more limited visible colour spectrum, the canine spaces were decorated in hues that are most easily seen by dogs’ eyes, an effect enhanced by carefully considered lighting.
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“The specific requirements of functional details from the dog’s perspective has greatly inspired us to reflect on the design of a space,” writes the studio. “Whenever we see the owner and their beloved dog living and playing together inside the house, we are always touched by the love between them. [This] is probably the ultimate meaning of the entire project.”
Scroll through the gallery to learn more about The Dog House in the studio’s own words.
Spaces for the owner alone are basically grey, dark grey, light grey and white; while functional spaces for the dog are more colourful.
Lights are indirectly presented through diffusion and semi-self-illuminating materials.
When the white ceilings are evenly lit, the geometrical surfaces of the sloping roof play off each other, creating a subtle reflection of light.
The owner’s dog is extremely sensitive to the touch of materials due to congenital disease in its joints. Therefore, special materials were used in the design to reduce the damage to its hip joint caused by the friction with materials.
For example, soft flooring and medical-grade waterproof coating were applied on the stairs and ramps in both exterior and interior spaces that are relevant to the dog.
The owner's bedroom.
There is an operation room for routine physical exams and medical care of the dog. The heights of the shower space and operation floor were determined after long-term observation of the living habits of the owner and the dog. Noise-reducing fabrics that were newly developed by Danish textile brand Kvadrat reduce harm to the ears caused by the dog barking during bathing.
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Photographer: Sun Haiting