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Click drawing for a closer look.
Photo Natascha payton; Drawing courtesy Lira Luis

Who ever said being in th
e doghouse is a bad thing? Especially if it has Venetian-plaster walls, granite floors, and a roof garden.

In their "Bow-wowhaus," architects Tom Payton, Doug Theberge, Michela Bull, and Lira Luis—all from Phoenix’s Orcutt/Winslow Partnership—and
photographer Natascha Payton, have spared no extravagance. Bailey, a golden retriever, lived until recently in this lavish dwelling reminiscent of Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion, complete with a bedroom, a kitchen, and a bath. The adjoining wading pool is perfect for canine gatherings, and the roof provides a place for contemplation.

"We believe the level of attention and detail that we give to human clients is equal to the attention we give to four-legged clients," Luis says in discussing her team’s approach. The design was born out of a competition called "Pawchitecture," which
was sponsored by the Arizona Animal Welfare League. Now, the Bow-wowhaus is on view at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, where its roof is still mowed every two weeks.

"It’s amazing," says Luis, "the grass on the roof terrace keeps growing even in the glass case."

The turf, the same used at the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Bank One Ballpark, serves a major function within desert climates like Phoenix. The water for the grass terrace is pumped throughout the house, from pool to rooftop, cooling the interior like an air conditioner. The building materials also help keep the interior cool, making it perfect for warm temperatures and furry clients.

When asked about the client’s reaction, Lira said, "Bailey absolutely loved it. Most of the time, he sat on the roof overlooking the yard. But sometimes, on hotter days, he splashed around in the pool."

When asked for a comment, the client, seeming to agree, said, "Woof!".

By Christina V. Rogers


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