Cosy nests in the wall

Casa Wabi in Oaxaca, Mexico by Kengo Kuma & Associates

Everyone needs an attractive and calming place to rest, and hens are no exception. This informed Kengo Kuma’s approach when the Mexican art foundation Casa Wabi requested a shelter for its chickens. The new henhouse has been designed like a pavilion, with connecting wooden panelling 30 millimetres thick forming a boxed pattern. Each box serves as a nest, with steel netting at the back replacing the outer wall to allow in light and air. The wood has been finished using the shou sugi ban technique, which makes it durable and resistant to insect attack and damp, for example.

The open environment keeps the temperature at a comfortable level in the pavilion, but part of the structure is also roofed with moisture tolerant plywood, which both helps with stability and gives the chickens extra protection against the sun and occasional rain. Next to the henhouse there is a space for packing eggs, and a quarantine area is also going to be built for chickens that are ill and need to be isolated from the flock.


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