Video Picks: Architecture for animals

What happens when architects are asked to design a space for a completely different client or user? Alaistair introduces us to the world of designing for animals.


Even simple spaces for animals are designed. Considerations include measures to prevent escape, to protect from other animals and people, to provide food and even entertainment. Mahatma Ghandi said, the “greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

Design can help people get the most from animals, whether they are kept for food, for company, or for other reasons. Design can improve animals’ quality of life, in turn benefitting people. Modernist architect Hugo Haring famously designed a pear-shaped cowshed so cows could feed facing each other, their natural feeding pattern.

‘Architecture for Dogs’ is a project that invites world-renowned architects and designers to create environments for specific breeds of dogs.

Featured and listing image credit: ‘Architecture for long-bodied-short-legged dog’, by Atelier Bow-Wow for Dachshund Smooth,‘Architecture for Dogs’ project. Photograph, Hiroshi Yoda.


Credit: In the video we see Japanese architects Atelier Bow – Wow’s entry, entitled 'Architecture for long-bodied-short-legged dog’, for Dachshund Smooth'. Video courtesy of 'Architecture for Dogs'.

Atelier Bow – Wow’s design reflects the dog’s shape, size and flexibility, consisting of long thin ramps, with ample turning spaces. The structure cleverly elevates the dog almost to the eye-height of a seated human, enabling dog and owner to look into each other’s eyes. The structure can also be stacked, helping the Dachsund appreciate its surroundings from whole new heights.
Want to see more?
‘Architecture for Dogs’, invented by architects and designers, is an extremely sincere collection of architecture and a new medium, which make dogs and their people happy. There are currently 14 pieces of architecture.

Take a look at for these elaborately designed ingenious structures.
The blue prints are free to download, so if you find one you like, make it yourself for your dog.

Watch ‘Architecture for Dogs’ introductory video which introduces you to other designs by Toyo Ito, Kazuo Sejima, MVRDV and others for Beagles, Bichon Frise, Shiba, Labrador, Boston Terrier.

Follow ‘Architecture for Dogs’ on Instagram

Looking for more inspiration?
Architects across the globe have been re-thinking how we design spaces for our furry and feathered friends. Take a look at these other examples:

Breakfast with giraffes – excerpt from BBC Two documentary

archstorming competition winners -‘Coexist: rethinking zoos – 21st century zoo concepts’ via Designboom

Kresings Architektur petting zoo via Dezeen

Giraffe house by LAM via Dezeen

The Antwerp Zoo by Studio Farris Architects

Butterfly Aviary via Arch Daily

Vincennes Zoo by TNPLUS Landscape Architects and Beckmann N’Thepe via BLDGBLOG

The best architect-designed cow sheds via BD online