Pets have a special place in their owner’s heart. Not only are they a great companion but they can also be an excellent support system for humans. It’s no surprise for pet owners to go overboard when it comes to pampering their fur babies. Some even design their homes to cater to the needs of their pets more than their own.
One of EKAR’s recent projects involves designing a house for a man who desperately loves dogs. The Dog/Human house is designed to be a place where humans and dogs can live comfortably and happily. The architect explains the client wants to build a place not only for him to live in but it must also be a place for his dogs to enjoy as much as they want.
Apart from sharing his house with his dogs, the client also wants to share the space with other canine lovers. He intends to accommodate a part of his dog’s house as a hotel where other dogs can share facilities and meet each other. These include dog care and salon corner to the back house. The human companions will also have access to the waiting area in front of the project so they can see their beloved dog’s activities during the dog’s treatment program.
The architect started researching the context of the project to understand how they can configure the architecture to meet the client’s brief. The house is located in Nakhonpathom, which is the agricultural province known as the ‘national kitchen.’ The province exports pork, chicken, and rice. The architect’s research has revealed interesting agricultural characters remaining from the past to the present day, ‘the roof.’
“The word ‘Context’, for us, is not only used for the nearby building, existing trees, weather, geology, or any of the physical things we perceive through our senses but it also includes the abstract thing, the relationship of the users, ‘Dog and Human,” the architect explains.
The architect adds that they also studied human and dog behavior to understand the relationship between them. “Scale” is what they found relatively between dogs, humans, and architecture.
They expound that scale is the most significant difference perceived by both dogs and humans. When communicating with a dog, for example, humans need to bow a little to get closer to make them more confident. It also reduces the distance between dog and human, physically and mentally.
When it comes to architecture, the house is designed using the character of the local agricultural building which has a low roof design to match the scale of chicken and pig. The architect, however, used the roof element to remind people of the existence of other lives. The roof dictates where humans can walk, where they cannot, where they can see, where they can sit, where dogs can lay down, or even where the trees can grow.
Moreover, they designed the column base to fit the dog shape when they sleep and to be functionally used for easy cleaning. The swimming pool also has steps designed not only for human scale but also suitable for the dog to step up from the pool properly. Finally, the roof does not have a roof gutter to let the water touch the ground directly.
The overall design of the house aims to encourage living with each other. It creates a space where humans can become more respectful of other lives, make them closer, and make them grow together.
Photos by Rungkit Charoenwat