birdhouses

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Art

Danish Street Art Project Has Built Over 3,500 Urban Bird Houses Since 2006

November 22, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Artist and designer Thomas Dambo (previously) specializes in building family-friendly installations from upcycled materials. One of Dambo’s many interactive projects is Happy City Birds, a ongoing series that lies at the intersection of street art and community development. The Danish artist builds bird houses across urban centers, installing the new homes against buildings, grouped on tall poles, or spaced throughout existing trees.

Since 2006, Dambo and his crew have constructed more than 3,500 birdhouses with recycled wood and paint. Although a large percentage of his works are concentrated in Arken (you can see a Google map of the bird house locations here), many more of them can be found dotting Copenhagen, Aarhus, Odense, Horsens, Beirut, and Berlin. You can see more of Dambo’s bird houses, including this human-size build, and a collection of camoflauged homes, on Dambo’s website.

 

 



Design History

The Ornate Bird Palaces of Ottoman-Era Turkey

July 28, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Several photos courtesy of Caner Cangül

An important element of Ottoman architecture in Turkey was the addition of birdhouses affixed to the outer walls of significant city structures, a safe space for regular avian guests to nest outside of mosques, inns, bridges, libraries, schools, and fountains. The birdhouses were not simple concrete structures, but rather elaborate feats of miniature architecture that ranged from one-story homes to multiple-story bird mansions. Each was designed with a similar design aesthetic to the country’s larger buildings, simultaneously providing shelter to sparrows, swallows, and pigeons while preventing bird droppings from corroding the walls of the surrounding architecture.

In addition to providing shelter, the birdhouses fulfilled a religious vision. They were thought to grant good deeds to those that built the tiny homes. Through their abundance and care, the structures encouraged a love of animals in the Turkish public, citizens who adopted several nicknames for the homes over the years including “kuş köşkü” (bird pavilions), “güvercinlik” (dovecots) and “serçe saray” (sparrow palace).

Only some of these bird mansions remain today, however their place is firmly rooted in Turkish history. Nearly every city in the country contains examples of the bird homes, the oldest example, a 16th-century house attached to the Büyükçekmece Bridge, still surviving in Istanbul. (via Jeroen Apers)

 

 



Design

Turn Your Roof into a Bird Sanctuary with Ceramic Birdhouse Roof Tiles by Klaas Kuiken

January 4, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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When looking at the problem of bird populations shrinking in urban areas due to loss of habitat, Nethlerlands-based product designer Klaas Kuiken was struck with the idea of improving a common bird home: residential roofs. In consultation with the Vogelbescherming (the Dutch bird association) Kuiken designed a ceramic birdhouse that adheres to the ubiquitous roof tiles found throughout the country. The house contains a removable basket to aid in maintenance after mating season and is made with materials that can resist extreme cold in the winter. First designed in 2009 the birdhouses have finally gone into production and 100 are now available for sale. See more over on designboom.

 

 

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