Overlooking a meadow in South Dakota, the 20 sophisticated chickens of Black Hills Homestead are nestled inside living quarters that push the boundaries on agriculture and contemporary design.
The coop, designed by Colorado-based architect Brad Tomecek, was completed in 2017 after the homestead owners asked him to create a home for their birds that would be worth looking at. “It’s a fun project for us,” says Tomecek. It was the first time he had worked on a chicken coop.
The coop adopts a modern yet minimalist aesthetic, and Tomecek says that everything was designed to create a well-lit, natural environment for the chickens to feel comfortable.
With a wooden nesting box attached to a translucent 10’x10’x10’ cube, the birds are provided a well-lit space for their run. The entire coop has the ability to serve as a site lantern if the owners choose to keep chickens awake longer as daylight disappears quickly in the winter.
The clean-cut, translucent structure also has a number of small holes for air ventilation and is made from panels that provide a smooth surface for easy cleaning. The building is slightly elevated to protect the chickens from wildlife and provides additional space for the run.
Tomecek says he hasn’t been contracted to work on any chicken coops since, but he would be willing to do so in the future, as it’s an interesting challenge for him to meld the traditional aspect of agriculture with modern design.
“I actually think there’s a lot of beauty in a lot of the old farm buildings and structures, but current thinking can be applied to some of these more utilitarian structures as a way to insert design into a place that we don’t normally see it,” he says.