From Bauhaus to Bird House

So what do you do for the latter-day nuthatch, wren or chickadee that’s already experiencing the best that life can offer?

A modernist bird house, for starters.

At least, that’s what architect Nandinee Phookan of IMAKE Studio is thinking.

“We wanted to use the modern language of clean lines,” she says.

So with Luis Rivera in New York, she’s designed two distinctive, minimalist cedar cubes, each measuring seven inches per plane, for the tiny birds. 

“It’s almost like an architectural model,” the graduate of MIT’s A-school says.  “It’s like your first exercise in architecture school where you work with a cube and its additive and subtractive volumes.”

Each bird house features an internal mesh ladder to assist chicks in climbing up and out for their first flight.  Vents are incorporated into the design to keep things cool during the summer, and the designers omitted perches of any kind, to remove risks from pesky predators like squirrels or larger birds.  A removable bottom panel enables easy clean-up.

The biggest challenge lay in the scale of the tiny homes.  “As we worked on it, we realized we couldn’t scale it down past a certain point,” she says.

Each bird house is designed to be displayed in courtyards, mounted on pole platforms, or as sculptural pieces for the home.

And each begs the question: What would Rudolph Schindler and Richard Neutra say?

For more on IMAKE Studio, go to

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