The evening of Thursday, May 24 was a date to remember as Luxe Interiors + Design Magazine hosted the first Barkitecture design competition and auction at the Seattle Design Center. Conceived as a benefit for the Seattle Humane Society and Seattle Children’s PlayGarden, the event showcased the designs of ten teams, each comprised of an architect, builder, interior designer and landscape professional. Simultaneously, a Parade of Dogs Costume show was held. The evening climaxed with a live auction of the designer dog houses.
I am very proud to report that I was landscape architect for “Team Ripple,” led by architect Jim Dearth of Ripple Design Studio. I’m even more proud to report that our “Bau-Wau Haus” entry won the competition in the “Best Work of Art” category. Our design concept was based on the idea that the fashionable Modern Small Dog tends to eschew outdoor dog “houses” in favor of portable indoor crates, so we designed a sleek and artful dog crate that can be used both indoors and outdoors. The crate serves both as a bed for doggie and as an elegant bench for the doggie’s human (translation: what we would call the dog’s “master,” but you and I know that term is highly inaccurate!) Jim Dearth’s subtle design features a limestone bench seat for the human and a comfy aqua-colored bed and spring-green pillow specified by interior designer Gregory Carmichael. The crate’s walls and doors are akin to a woven fabric of Ipe dog bones, precisely cut by a computer and mounted on stainless steel rods. Curving bamboo-plywood cabinets from Teragren bracket the piece, providing space for dog bowl, leash and treats.
My landscape setting for “Bau-Wau Haus,” could have a name of its own: “Dogj Mahal!” Jim’s architecture resides in a nine-tray grid at the center of a cross-shaped paved walk in a plaster finish by Gail Miller, which looks like a miniature plaza. The overall composition is anchored at the four corners by Podocarpus macrophyllus trees from L & B Nurseries, commonly known as Yew Pine, which serve as abstract live minarets. The trees are set in tapering silver-gray fiberglass pots by CG Products. Beneath the trees, diagonally alternate grid cells are paved with aqua-colored recycled glass chips from Bedrock Industries and decorated with art glass bones by Sherri Gamble of Sage Artistry. The opposite diagonal grids are carpeted with a soft ground cover of Sedum hispanicum (Spanish Sedum) from T & L Nurseries.
Our Bau-Wau Haus sold for $1700 at auction to a happy couple who share their Pioneer Square condominium with two Chi-hua-haus.
Bau-Wau Haus would not have existed were it not for the fine craftsmanship of our excellent builder, Chris Brooks of Prestige Custom Builders, who had only about four weeks to execute the design. Here’s to Chris and Prestige!
Architect: Jim Dearth of Ripple Design Studio, www.RippleDesignStudio.com.
Landscape Architect: Brooks Kolb LLC Landscape Architecture, www.brookskolbllc.com
Interior Designer: Gregory Carmichael, www.gcid.com
Project Managers: Cecilia Carson, Baker Knapp and Tubbs, www.bakerfurniture.com and Scott Smith, Lee Jofa/Kravet, www.kravet.com.
Builder: Prestige Custom Builders, www.prestigecustombuilders.com.