There’s a serious amount of consideration that goes into creating a one-of-a-kind residence. The long-term process of balancing logistics, budgets and creative vision quite often means the final outcome feels more like a perfect work of art than a highly personal home.
As an architecture and interiors photographer, I’ve found over the years that whenever a family’s playful pup would wander into the shot, the house suddenly had the character and warmth likely found when the camera wasn’t there. A dog’s naiveté would break the ice, and soon we’d all be laughing. No matter the breed, it will rub its bum on a hand-knit rug, jump on vintage furniture or press a wet nose against freshly cleaned glass. They are hilarious, and unpredictable.
A few years ago I decided to showcase these Resident Dogs on Instagram, which led to the publication of my first book featuring 25 incredible houses all across Australia. For this second edition I’ve broadened the scope to also include the US, UK and Mexico.
I’ve also transitioned from photos that emphasise the built environment to more poetic observations, selecting images that integrate the shapes, reflections and shadows a dog unknowingly adds to a scene. Combined with intimate stories from the homeowners and architects, you really get a sense of what makes these houses so special—for the humans and the furrier inhabitants, too.
Like the eight rescue pups that reside at Cuadra san Cristóbal designed by Pritzer-prize winner Luis Barragán we learn how the architecture’s spiritual energy enables so many unique personalities to always get along. Or how much the seven-year-old Cavapoo Rosie enjoys running around (and sometimes away from) her renovated, RIBA-award winning cottage in the Cotswolds. Other times we get to see just how much home and hound can look alike, as with Nala, a chocolate Kelpie Lab who blends in so much with the bespoke walnut joinery surrounding her that you may have to squint to see her.
People will do anything for their dogs—that’s how I’m able to fill these books with some of the most extraordinary private spaces. I hope the 25 residences featured in this international edition of Resident Dog inspire you, as they do me, to bring a uniqueness to your own beloved domicile and to share it with a rescue (or two). It’s our four-legged friends that always turn a house into a home.
Have you ever imagined Amy Winehouse or Nick Cave as a Chihuahua, Neil Young as a Vizsla, or PJ Harvey as an Afghan hound? That’s exactly what San Francisco-based artist Michael Gillette has done through his unique illustration project, blending beloved, iconic music legends, both past and present, with their dog counterparts. Pack of Dogs, our first foray into book publishing, is a celebration of pup and pop culture for music and dog lovers alike.
August 25, 2020