Practice was surprise winner over rival finalists including Foster & Partners, Hopkins and RSHP
Birds Portchmouth Russum Architects has triumphed over some of the UK’s most high-profile architects to win a competition to design a dog kennel.
The practice pipped the likes of Foster & Partners, Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners, Hopkins and Stanton Williams to secure victory at yesterday’s Barkitecture competition, part of the Goodwoof dog festival held over the weekend at Goodwood House in West Sussex.
BPR’s entry, Bonehenge, also saw off a submission by Apple’s former chief design officer Jony Ive and his business partner Marc Newsom to win the tightly fought contest, which was judged by a panel stocked with star names including Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud and comedian Bill Bailey.
The timber kennel, designed for Illy, a blue roan cocker spaniel currently serving as BPR’s health and welfare officer, is encircled by a ring of dog-bone shaped balusters and features a domed skylight.
McCloud said the design “ticked all the boxes”, adding that it was “light and airy and principally wholly sustainable”.
The kennel is also net water positive, with a catchment dish on its roof designed to funnel into a dog bowl at the entrance, while its oval shape was inspired by the cocker spaniel breed’s habit of circling before settling down to rest.
It sold for £2,500 in a charity auction following the judges’ decision yesterday afternoon, going towards more than £30,000 raised by the competition for the Dog’s Trust.
“We are really delighted as there was a very strong field of entries by prominent architects,” the practice said in a joint statement from the design team. “It’s extraordinary that 20 architects can conceive such a wide array of interesting solutions”.
But the team admitted: “Our client Illy is less than enamoured that her home was sold off - we must quickly make Bonehenge Mark 2.”
Foster & Partners’ entry, a geodesic timber dome which was designed by a team including practice founder Norman Foster, sold for £4,600. RSHP’s Star Wars-inspired Dog Pod sold for £1,000 while Hopkins’ brutalist Le Dogular was snapped up for £700.
Stanton Williams’ The Nook, which incorporated both a chair and a side-table - and included an opening for dispensing snacks - sold for £1,500, while the auctioneer’s hammer struck at £3,800 for Ive and Newsom’s entry, Love From.
The top-selling kennel was furniture designer David Linley’s Venice-inspired Doge House, a gothic plywood “palazzo” which sold for £6,000 following a flurry of bids.
Other practices to take part in the contest included Henning Stummel Architects, Hawkes Architecture, Haysom Ward Miller Architects and Lincoln Miles Architecture.
Events at the festival also included storytelling sessions read by Anne Robinson and Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville, and a 50m dog race with contestants including tennis player Johanna Konta and her dog, Bono.