Chicken Crazy in a Modern Portland Hen House

From on November 09, 2010 in Landscaping

portland chicken home

The thought of having fresh organic eggs straight from your urban backyard sounds enticing, though a potential feather-laden mess. Architects Shelley Martin and Mitchell Snyder solved the problem when they moved to Portland to launch a new architecture firm by creating their first design project: a hen house.

portland chicken homeportland chicken home

Complying with Portland regulations, the two outfitted this modernist four-foot cube with a 4’ x 15’ run using reclaimed cedar siding under a green roof, adding windows for ventilation for their three hens.

portland chicken

Snyder comments that hens as clients are not too different from humans. “They have the same considerations of comfort and protection from the elements.”

As an example of how good design filters into others areas of our lives, the two grow native Oregon sedums on the coop’s green roof—and elsewhere in the garden have harvested lettuce, radishes, snap peas, onions, carrots, potatoes, as well as other vegetables. Urban living can be as green and quaint as a small farm.

portland chicken garden

Martin and Snyder now have great eggs, as well as entertaining pets. But the best reward of all? The chance to design something unique in a city prized for creative innovation. Well done!