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pet architecture    pet architecture

Our most typical pets (the cat that fills our house full of hair, the dog that loves lapping up jam,...) for reasons unknown to us, pick a little corner of our house and make it their favourite little spot.
The people at the architecture studio Bow Wow took this concept on board while they were doing a study they carried out of the small buildings sprinkled among the towering skyscrapers that make up the Tokyo skyline. These buildings have the same type of characteristics to be found in pets’ homes. On a bigger scale, they show how an empty and useless space can be put to use. These triangular structures and cafes with room for four clients are of all types and uses. The 200 metre long and three metre wide office block built between two railway tracks, the tiny key cutter’s, the one metre-squared umbrella shop, the temple of prayer that looks like a toy...
At first, the only characteristic used to define these spaces is their diminutive size. But once you’ve visited these places, you realise that the concept of pets goes even further. These places in a city like Tokyo are really special. In the coldness, stressing speed and toughness of the big city, these small spaces are warm, charming and good-humoured.
As we mentioned before, all the pet buildings are built in undefined spaces, in the spaces left between big buildings, on the slim stretches of grass between roads and railway lines.. Any corner or bit of space leftover from modern urban construction can be used to build one of these “pet buildings”. The rapid, chaotic and uncontrollable growth of Tokyo throws up lots of spaces like these. Once you’ve internalised the concept of pet buildings you’ll find you can’t look at any of these empty spaces without your imagination flying off on a handle trying to fill it up. And you can do this in any city. Become your city pet and find that little space you’ve always wanted...

by Tokyo Institute of Technology Tsukamoto Lab
& Atelier Bow-wow
Published by WORLD PHOTO PRESS (2001)