An Architectural Embrace for Depressed Chickens
June 13, 2012
All photos: Torsten Ottesjö
Sweden’s forever autumnal landscape, with its craggy rock shore, overcast skies, and barren forests, is the picture of existential bleakness. Or at least, the cinematic Sweden of Ingmar Bergman’s films is. Bergman’s nearly monochromatic aesthetic wrung all of the vibrancy out of the Scandinavian countryside, leaving only a monotonous palette of ash and blonde timber and sharp-tooth terrain, seemingly ill-suited for most life. That is, except chickens.
Torsten Ottesjö‘s Hönshus-1 is a sculptural house for hens. Perched above a bed of rock and gnarled logs, the chicken coop overlooks an inlet off of Sweden’s west coast, giving its residents a “sea view” and offering them a cozy retreat from the gray world outside.
The double-curved wooden structure, designed to mimic the feathery embrace of a mother hen, consists of a lattice-like facade with alternating panes of wood and void to bring natural daylight inside. The roof and backside of the house are covered in wooden shingles to prevent rainwater from penetrating the cabin. The entire shed is nimbly balanced on spindly steel legs, not much thicker than twig branches, that whimsically hold the house aloft and distance the sensitive creatures from the harsh realities of the ground. But not their thoughts. (ha!)