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Stylish and functional, this dog-friendly house in Beijing is largely designed around the medical needs of a pet German Shepard. A dog is indeed a man’s best friend in this project by Beijing-based Atelier About Architecture.
The doting pet parent envisioned a colorful world inside the dog-friendly house where his dog can happily live and play. The design strategy is colour-centric and inspired by researches which revealed that dogs can recognize colours like yellow, blue and transitional color segments. Therefore, the architect tried to define a space by using color bars and customised lighting, to form a cohesive living space.
The 400 square metres dog-friendly house is split into three levels with the entire basement dedicated to the dog’s living space. The first floor includes the kitchen, the dining room and the living room while the second floor is composed of the main bedroom and entertaining area.
A dog-friendly house with design strategy driven by the psychology of colours for dogs
Spaces for humans are in shades of grey and white; while functional and dog-friendly spaces are more colorful. Two sets of colors dominate inside the house: calm colors including shades of blue and light gray are paired with vibrant colors, such as rose, goose yellow and sky blue. These colors contrast and complement each other to narrate the depth, distance and flow between spaces. Lights are indirectly presented through diffusion and semi-illuminating materials.
The dog-friendly house is equipped with two dog-only bathrooms. In the core area, there is a barrier-free shower space for the dog with two-way ramps and separated wet area. At the other end of the shower, there is an operation area for routine physical exams and medical care of the dog. The heights of the shower space and operation area are customised to fit the owner and the dog. The small bathroom next to the shower room used a lot of noise-reducing fabrics by Danish textile brand Kvadrat, to absorb the dog’s barking during bath times.
Dog-friendly surfaces coupled with medical grade furnishing ensures a safe environment for the sick dog
As the dog is extremely sensitive to the touch of materials due to a congenital joint disease, special dog-friendly materials are used in the design to reduce the damage to his hip joint when in contact with rough surfaces. Soft flooring and medical-grade waterproof coating are applied on the stairs and ramps in both exterior and interior spaces in the basement.
The architects shared that the house was a meaningful commission from the get-go since all the owner’s requests, including the space, materials, even furniture and decoration, are almost completely dog-friendly. Every design decision is focused on the dog’s habits and needs.
The team had to rehash their design concepts from the perspective of a dog instead of a human, a process they find inspiring upon reflection.
“Whenever we see the owner and their beloved dog living and playing together inside the house, we are always touched by the love between them. The love is expressed beyond the presentation of architecture and design skills, which is probably the ultimate meaning of the entire project,” shares the team.
“Whenever we see the owner and their beloved dog living and playing together inside the house, we are always touched by the love between them. The love is expressed beyond the presentation of architecture and design skills, which is probably the ultimate meaning of the entire project.”
Photography by Haiting Sun