architects and their chicken coops.

One of my Facebook friends linked to an article about artisan chicken coops yesterday—you know, the sort of chicken coop that has the chickens living in more style than a middle-class wage earner in a developing nation. That had me thinking about what chicken coops designed by different architects would look like.

The Frank Lloyd Wright: A beautiful chicken coop mimicking the flow of water down a stony terrace. Eighteen different square elements are stacked into a descending spiral shape. It takes two people nine hours to clean the poop out of all the nooks and crannies every week.

The Minoru Yamasaki: Two box-shaped coops slightly offset next to each other. Each coop has a 10x10ft. footprint and is 120 feet high, holding 12,000 chickens.

The Walter Gropius/Bauhaus: A coop vaguely shaped like a rooster comb and made out of steel and glass. The chickens live in 128 identical single apartments with little balconies. Because of the huge windows, interior temperature on sunny days is 112 degrees.

The Le Corbusier: A monstrous 30x30ft. concrete block with an interior chicken run and its own freeway exit. The chickens descend into depression and substance abuse, and the suicide rate is sky-high.

The Frank Gehry: The coop is made out of corrugated sheet metal, hammered together in the shape of a giant beak. It sits in the middle of a two-acre reflecting pool.

The Hundertwasser: A brightly-painted, asymmetrical chicken coop that sits on stilts. It has a roof garden. Predators intent on chicken meals forget about their prey and take pictures in awe instead.

The Libeskind: The coop is just wide enough for two chickens side-by-side, but it’s 50 yards long and makes nine angles, including three 90-degree turns. The chickens often get lost inside.

The Howard Roark: A bare patch of ground in the middle of the front lawn. The chickens can’t expect everything to be handed to them.

5 thoughts on “architects and their chicken coops.

  1. The Libeskind:

    I beg to differ, based on the Toronto ROM, it’s a spiky maintenance intensive thing where no one can find the entrance and given the cost and wasted internal space it’s amazing chickens can find their way in or out.

    And you forgot the
    The Wil Alsop ( google Sharp Centre for Design): A weird box 4 stories in the air on stilts looming over the farm. Works ok, except occasionally chickens try to fly out when the escalator fails and die from impact with ground.

  2. I am particularly fond of that last one.

    On the other hand, I used to work in a Frank Gehry building (it looked like it had just been hit by an earthquake). It was all well and good being trendy and innovative, until we had to abandon our basement location because poorly designed drainage was causing the room to regularly flood with water that turned out to be mostly untreated sewage. As an engineer I may be biased, but that experience only reinforced my opinions about architects and their tenuous connections to reality.

  3. The B.S. Johnson: A circular structure six stories high with 10 foot nesting boxes. Due to the Johson’s decision that a circle should have an even 300 degrees, instead of the “harder to remember” 360, the interior folds in on itself in an Escher-esque fashion, and chickens that wander too close to the center tend to roll out as hard-boiled eggs. There’s a nail next to the door to tie a long string to, because without trailing that string behind you finding the door again is… problematic.

  4. Several of those made me chuckle, but that last made me laugh uproariously. Thank you!