When you think of innovative architecture, you may think of the Netherlands, Barcelona or even Dubai, but those places can’t hold a candle to Portland, Oregon. At least not when it comes to innovative chicken coop design.

It's no secret that animal husbandry is hot right now, but leave it to Portlanders to take chicken keeping to a new level. A bold group of Portland designers—many architects by trade—has crafted posh digs for our fine feathered friends.

We checked out the options and found five coop designs that are sure to give you and your brood something to crow about.


Modular Coop

Modular Coop. Photo courtesy of Mitchell Snyder
Modular Coop. Photo courtesy of Mitchell Snyder

Mitchell Snyder is an architect by trade and is about to add chicken coop designer to his list of services.

He created his COOP as a beautiful, modernist home for his own chickens to provide comfort and protection while maintaining a simple straightforward design.

"When you design and build a coop, the needs of the hens come first. From there, you have a tremendous freedom to make it look however you want. In our case, we kept it as simple and minimal as possible," Snyder explains.

Price: custom design upon request.


MetroCoop

MetroCoop
MetroCoop
Pistils Nursery and Landscape Design co-owner and designer Glenn Nardelli says the progression from creating hardscapes like fences, arbors and trellises to chicken coops was quite natural.

“They are designed to be functional and beautiful, to add interest to the garden even in the winter,” Nardelli says. “They are built to be a lasting part of the garden landscape.”

With input both from designers and customers, Nardelli designed a 6’ x 12’ coop with aviary that is roomy enough for 4-5 birds. The dimensions can be easily modified to meet the needs of clients. Made mostly from cedar, the Modern Coop comes with optional features like decorative wire (instead of less durable chicken wire) and a living roof.

Price: starts at $4000.


Modern Coop

Modern Coop. Photos © Jim Golden 2009
Modern Coop. Photos © Jim Golden 2009
John Wright, also an architect, created his coop to be durable, portable, and to look really cool.

Reminiscent of a 1970s style camper, Modern Coops are made from recycled cedar with a choice of durable metal or fiberglass roof panel (easily converted to a living roof as well). The entire coop is mobile, to allow the yard a chance to rest after all of that chicken scratching.

“I try to push the fact that I do other stuff,” he says, referring to his architecture projects for humans, “but everyone wants to talk about the chicken coops.”

Price: basic coop around $750.


Bake's Binster 

Bake's Binster
Bake's Binster
Jon Bake began his own home repair company twenty-one years ago, and has always been an avid composter, building his own compost bins out of rot-resistant cedar. His wife Cindy took the bins to a trade show to market them for sale and found that people kept confusing the bins, which had some chicken wire in their construction, with chicken coops. Cindy, with complete faith in her husband’s handiness, soon put up a sign saying, “Ask us about our chicken coops.”

Now Bake’s Binsters offers beautifully constructed cedar coops, with or without an attached compost bin. A compost bin in close proximity to the makings of some great compost? Now that’s genius.

Price: starts at $795.

 

The Garden Coop

The Garden Coop
The Garden Coop
John Carr is a writer, not a carpenter or architect, and was daunted at first about building a proper coop for his chickens. He did months of online research, talked to experts, and visited other chicken coops before coming up with his own design.

“It was an intense process,” he admits, but it made him realize that he could save people a lot of time and effort by offering his plans.

With modifications for winter weather and predator protection, The Garden Coop (and the smaller, portable Ark) can be built by one person and from a variety of materials. The detailed directions—obviously written by a professional writer—come with support from a person who’s been there.

“Customers from all over the country email me questions about construction, about modification,” Carr says. “I am always happy to help.”

Price: around $20 (plans only).


Resources

Want to learn more about chicken keeping? Read our article.

Need supplies, chicks or a cool new coop? Check out our directory.

View the slideshow for more images of locally designed chicken coops, or visit our Flickr gallery:


Photos © 2010 Kenneth Aaron, Neighborhood Notes