Translucent 'Chicken Chapel' Puts Another Spin on the Coop

Translucent chicken chapel coop
Studio North summer 2011 workshop Chicken Chapel project.

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From afar, it looks like a mini-sized yoga studio or sauna, but this translucent gem created by Boston-based Moskow Linn Architects and a group of five students is actually a chicken coop. Er, make that a "chicken chapel." Made out of fiberglass panels and locally-harvested wood, this freestanding hen sanctuary was built as part of a hands-on workshop given on a 117-acre property in Norwich, VT, demonstrating that utilitarian design can be quick, low-budget, and beautiful too.

This June 2011 was the inaugural session of Studio North, a week-long building intensive that gets participants to "engage with the rural landscape and to imagine, develop and construct an inventive design" through small-scale rural interventions. This year's "Chicken Chapel" was the collaboration between five students and architects Keith Moskow and Robert Linn.

Chicken coop
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A rustic touch is added by the horizontally-laid maple sticks which were gathered on-site, forming a wattle that both filters light and protects the chickens from the elements.

The henhouse is raised off the ground to allow better air circulation on hot days and to prevent predators from climbing in. There's a human-sized door on one end of the structure, and an opening for chickens on the other.

translucent chicken coop
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chicken inspects the new coop
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Inside, there's an egg-shaped nesting box that offers a chuckle -- though one wonders about what to do with the oddly-shaped leftover spaces on the box's perimeter.

roosting boxes inside coop
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As dusk falls, the translucent chicken coop becomes a lantern box that lights up the landscape -- a cheerfully-lit refuge for its feathered residents.

translucent coop lit at night
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Whether it's a more traditional coop or a uber-useful and mobile chicken tractor, coops come in all shapes and sizes, as seen in our links below. Check out the Moskow Linn Architects News website.