Wabi chicken coop by Kengo Kuma

An elegant pavilion made of charred wood, designed by the architectural office kengo kuma & associates, is intended for ordinary chickens and chickens. Creating a designer chicken coop on the territory of the art residence of the Casa Wabi art foundation in Puerto Escondilo, Mexico, the architects used the principles of designing collective housing (for people).

Casa Wabi is an art center founded by Mexican artist Bosco Sodi. Famous architects, including Tadao Ando, ​​Alberto Calacha, Alvaro Siza, Kengo Kuma, Gloria Cabral, Solano Benitez and others, create architecture and art objects at Casa Wabi based on the principle of "here and now". In addition to residential residences, Casa Wabi has an exhibition gallery, workshop spaces, gardens and now a chicken coop.

Kengo Kuma's chicken coop is located at a distance from residential residences and resembles a garden pavilion from afar. Photo: Edmund Sumner

The cellular structure is resistant to strong winds, breathable and creates a transparent shade. Photo: Edmund Sumner

When kengo kuma & associates received such an exotic offer from the founder of the foundation Bosco Sodi, they decided that the implementation of the project would allow a new look at the design of communal housing - as a dormitory for non-standard residents.

«We saw an opportunity to develop a dormitory-pavilion project, but with a specific function for its residents... for example, for comfortable hatching of chickens!" Javier Villar Ruiz, partner of kengo kuma & associates, said

The architects created a structure that looks like a multi-tiered rack made of multi-layered plywood, in the central part covered with a canopy, and called it Casa Wabi Coop. Its zoning is not much different from the zoning of human dormitories. Feeders are installed in the internal "public space", and the cells of the rack are conditional individual bedrooms. Cages for chickens are distinguished by the presence of a shallow mesh, which makes them more protected, but also breathable.

The individual cells of the Casa Wabi Coop are isolated by a net. Photo: Edmund Sumner

Laying hens need sunlight. The cellular structure of the pavilion allows the sun to illuminate all its corners during the day, which is also important from the point of view of disinfection. At the same time, the pergola roof creates a shade at the peak of solar activity, a space that is ventilated.

Charred using traditional Japanese yakisugi technology, the wood is resistant to weather conditions and, importantly, repels insect pests.

The wood is charred according to the traditional Japanese yakisugi technology. Photo: Edmund Sumner

An isolation space has been created at the entrance to the chicken coop, where the veterinarian can examine the birds and, if necessary, leave them in lockable cages. It is here that employees stack the collected eggs before sending them to the Casa Wabi kitchen.

The place where the chicken coop is installed is not fenced: the chickens can freely walk around Casa Wabi, gathering in the chicken coop during feeding hours and roosting. Photo: Edmund Sumner

There was a place for landscaping elements in the courtyard of the chicken coop. Photo: Edmund Sumner

The floor in the chicken coop is mostly sand, and one area is paved with clay bricks, which, as reported by kengo kuma & associates, were fired in a pottery kiln created at the residence by Alvaro Sizo himself.

The design of the Casa Wabi Coop has very few details that the birds can use as a perch, and, at first glance, there are no places with soft hay for nests. Without questioning the aesthetic qualities of the wabi chicken coop, it would be extremely interesting to know how "fruitful" Kengo Kuma's architecture turned out to be: did the relocation of the chickens to the design pavilion affect their egg-laying?