We’re Celebrating National Cat Day With ‘Pet-tecture: Design for Pets’

Pet-tecture: Design for Pets, a new book released this fall by Phaidon, features a collection of specially-designed shelters for pets of all stripes.

Pet Architecture
The Cat Cube, Delphine Courier. Courtesy Lisa Norman

The relationship between pets and creatives is nothing new—although some are more bizarre than others. Salvador Dalí kept a beloved ocelot named Babou. Frida Kahlo once had a pet deer named Granizo. And, it is said, Le Corbusier cherished his schnauzer Pinceau so much that when the dog passed away, he had it skinned to bind his copy of Don Quixote.

Thankfully since Corb’s day, architects and designers are becoming more and more cognizant of animals’ environments. So much so that pet perches, beds, and houses are increasingly viewed as the stuff of starchitecture. Pet-tecture: Design for Pets, a delightful new tome from Phaidon, documents the proliferation of high-end design for animals, ranging from minimalist fishtanks to luxury horse stables. Design for pets is out of the dog house, if you will.

According to the book’s author, Tom Wainwright, the design of pet shelters is becoming just as ubiquitous of a pursuit as designing a chair: “Award-winning architects of here-and-now are increasingly keen to include Pet-tecture in their portfolio,” Wainwright asserts in the book’s intro.

Pet-tecture features more than 200 such designs. Take a fluffy, cloud-like pet bed by Kazuyo Sejima (half of the Pritzker Prize-winning duo SANAA) inspired by the puffy coat of a Bichon Frise. In 2012, Dutch firm MVRDV designed a gently-rocking timber beagle house. Sou Fujimoto even designed a structure (essentially a mini-version of his 2013 Serpentine pavilion) that is simultaneously a shelving unit and a minimal niche for pets to relax, titled “No Dog, No Life.”

In addition to adorable images and detailed project descriptions, the book also features a handy buyer’s guide, sorted by critter (varying as widely as bats and kangaroos) for design-minded pet owners.

So, in time for National Cat Day, here are some of Pet-tecture’s highlights.

You might also like, “London’s Stylish New Animal Hospital Is Man’s—and Pets’—Best Friend.”

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