After feathers flew in the debate about the fowl extravagance of hedge fund manager Crispin Odey’s chicken house – a little Palladian pastiche courtesy of Smallwood Architects – here’s another OTT chicken coop, a $100,000 special edition created for the legendary Neiman Marcus Christmas book. This isn’t just architecture (‘inspired by Versailles’ Le Petit Trianon‘, no less), it’s a piece of instant agriculture, something approaching an art installation:
– The buyer will receive an initial farm consultation and grounds survey and two additional onsite visits from Heritage Hen Farm expert, Svetlana Simon.
– Simon will select three to ten heritage-breed hens carefully selected to suit your region.
– Installation includes 2 custom-designed + installed raised vegetable or herb garden beds.
– Package includes a multilevel dwelling, nesting area, “living room,” broody room, library with books, two Heritage Hen Farm pasture grazing trays, waterer, feeder, and chandelier. All other props and furnishings not included.
Off the back of the Odey structure there was also a piece in the FT, A coop de théâtre, listing the architectural precedents for elaborate farm building, including the UK’s only listed fowl house, complete with period graffiti (“LIVE AND LET LIVE; SCRAT BEFORE YOU PECK; TRIAL BY JURY; TEACH YOUR GRANNY; CAN YOU SMELL; GIVE EVERY (DOG) HIS DUE (DAY?); HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY.”). At the other end of the scale there’s Frederik Roije’s Breed Retreat, an ‘architectural hen house’ in the SuperDutch mould, or Torsten Ottesjö’s HONSHUS-1, a building for chickens. Also related, Architecture for Dogs (via Architectural Record). Surely an elaborate hoax?