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Around the Columns

Plush doggy dens


Dogs never had it so good. Students designed this doghouse for Columbia’s Barkitecture 2011 competition. Photo by Nicholas Benner

A student-designed dwelling for canines makes being “in the doghouse” a good thing.

A team of six architectural studies students participated in the Barkitecture 2011 charity auction by designing and building a functional doghouse — a whimsical take on an old Airstream trailer. AIA Mid-Missouri’s Committee on the Environment sponsored its inaugural Barkitecture auction at Columbia’s Courthouse Square to benefit the Central Missouri Humane Society. Entry fees from seven competitors and auction profits brought in $2,190.86 for the society. 

The students’ entry was inspired by spring fever, says team member John Bohlmeyer, a senior. “It was February when we were brainstorming, and we were looking forward to springtime and camping and being outside. The ideas just rolled from there."

The students contributed labor to design and build the house primarily of recycled materials, in response to Barkitecture’s sustainability theme. The metal sheathing and wheels were new, but the lumber, carpet, curtain and other materials had been used elsewhere or were left over from other projects.

Bohlmeyer, who was new to metalworking, says it was tough creating the irstream’s characteristic curve at the front. “But architects need to know how to use various materials, so it was a really good small-scale construction experience,” he says.