Dezeen Magazine

White dog in plywood kennel on grey backdrop

Foster + Partners crafts "familiar and comfortable" flat-pack dog kennel

British architecture studio Foster + Partners has collaborated with plywood manufacturer Isokon to create a flat-pack dog kennel for Goodwoof's annual Barkitecture competition.

The bed is characterised by its arched canopy made from a thin, flexible sheet of plywood – one of its self-assembly components that can be put together and taken apart so they can be stored easily.

White dog beside plywood kennel on grey backdrop
The kennel's roof takes the form of a simple plywood arch

The kennel was created for the 2023 iteration of the Barkitecture competition, which is run by Goodwood. This year, the organisation challenged architects and designers to consider the positive impact that dogs have on people, specifically in workplace environments.

"It is a delight to present our design at Goodwoof, for the second year running," said Norman Foster. "We have used a refined palette of materials to create Barc, a flat-pack kennel that responds to the ever-evolving nature of the workplace."

White dog in plywood kennel on grey backdrop
Barc provides a safe, enclosed space for dogs to relax

The kennel's base is formed from a pair of dowels into which the canopy is secured.

The bent plywood section is held in place by a pair of dowels affixed widthways, which support a fabric sling enclosing a cushioned pad made from coconut husks. The dowels are held in place by four wooden screws.

Flat-lay of kennel components
It consists of 11 separate pieces

The bed was made from environmentally friendly materials and designed so it can be dissembled to be maintained or have parts replaced.

"The sparing use of material and detail is rooted in the idea of sustainability – to do more with less," said Foster + Partners.

"Our design can be easily scaled up to accommodate larger breeds," Foster + Partners senior partner Russell Hales told Dezeen.

"Barc will come in three sizes – small, medium and large – so it can be home to a variety of different dogs."

Hand tightening wooden screw on side of dog bed
The bed can be screwed together by hand

"We have seen many dogs enjoying the kennel, including Oskar the West Highland Terrier, who features in our photographs," Hales continued.

"Due to its inherent flexibility, Barc creates a familiar and comfortable space for canine companions, at their owner's side."

Flat-lay of kennel components
The bed is made from sustainable materials

Barc is Foster + Partners' second submission to the competition – its 2022 entry was a faceted, enclosed pet bed made from geodesically-carved cherry wood.

Other kennel designs that were featured in the competition last year include a futuristic pet bed informed by Star Wars by RSHP and a kennel lined with a colonnade of wooden bone-shaped motifs by Birds Portchmouth Russum Architects.

The photography is courtesy of Aaron Hargreaves/Foster + Partners

Barc was unveiled at Goodwoof, which took place on Saturday 20 May and Sunday 21 May 2023. See Dezeen Events Guide for a list of other architecture and design events taking place around the world.

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Plywood with engraving on it