11 April 2023 by Simon Drayson

Archi Barkitecture The Times

We were honoured to have been invited to submit a design for this years ‘Barkitecture’ competition, a key part of the Goodwoof event which invites select architects to design a 21st century kennel, as featured in The Times last week.

We visited Goodwoof last year for the first time with Archi, which we thoroughly enjoyed! We were particularly taken with the Barkitecture feature, mixing inspiring design with the needs of our furry friends. Last years winning design was brilliantly titled ‘Bonehenge’, designed by Birds Portchmouth Russum Architects, raising an impressive £2,500 at auction for Pets As Therapy charity.

Barkitecture George James entry

The theme for this years competition is ‘A Companion Piece – Dogs at Work’, to be completed for a maximum budget of £250. Our design is a dual function ‘Agility Desk’ – conceived as a multifunctional desk that humans can work at, and a place for dogs to snuggle, play and hunt for treats. The design allows humans and dogs to remain close and interact throughout the day. We love having dogs in our studio, they bring excitement, energy and companionship to the team and our visitors alike, but we know that they get bored and start to disrupt everyone! Our design looks for positive ways to keep them close but entertained throughout the day.

Barkitecture Archi Ava on desk

The beautiful, simple wooden desk is perfect for humans to work from, with a cushioned seat to comfortably sit on and a dog lead hook for the moments you need to safely secured your pooch. Underneath the units are multifunctional; they can be used as a dog bed, dog chair or even a human foot rest. When pulled apart the units create several agility stages, to positively test your dog while you work, with challenges such as jumping through the stool, run through tunnels, run across see-saw, weaving between polls and finishing back in bed with a treat. The desk facilitates interaction between a dog and their owner whilst creating stimulating exercises for the dog, all of which definitely gets Archi’s paw of approval!

The desks are designed to be built from timber, a naturally low carbon material that is inherently durable. To reduce the construction costs the concept is designed it to be built from wood offcuts, helping to reduce waste by utalising these left over materials which are often thrown away. The design allows each desk to be adapted, to suit owner exact needs and tailored for different sized dogs.

Barkitecture Team Archi Simon Darren Ava Rupert

We were fortunate to have worked in collaboration with Fisher Morrison on this design, who we are lucky enough to share our barn space with and also our love of dogs with. Thanks also to Happy Hounds Haslemere, our dog trainer who gave us the inspiration to attend the event in the first place.

Goodwoof Danstevensphoto 632 Edit
Simon, Archi and Darren at Goodwoof in 2022

The event is held annually at the stunning location of Goodwood House, West Sussex, taking place this year over the weekend of 20 – 21st May 2023, tickets are available here.

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