Ninth grader Luke Louchheim of Sag Harbor wants to let you know about a project that he has been working on since last October. His project is called “arf I T E C T U R E”, because it combines his love of architecture with his desire to benefit the dogs and cats at the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons (ARF), where his family adopted both their dogs.
The idea behind his project was to enlist a group of local architects to each design a doghouse or cat condo, and then pair them up with local builders who would each build one of the structures according to the architects’ plans. The structures would then be auctioned off at ARF’s annual benefit on August 18th to raise money for ARF. When presented with the idea, Scott Howe, the Executive Director of ARF, was very enthusiastic and encouraged Luke to pursue it further.
Luke personally met with and pitched this idea to nine local architects: Michael Lomont of Stelle Lomont Rouhani, Blaze Makoid of Blaze Makoid Architecture, Nacho Ramos of Estudio Ramos, Andrew Reyniak of ARAPC, Nick Martin of Martin Architects, Kitty McCoy of Katherine McCoy Architecture, Bill Beeton of Beeton & Company, Robert Young of Robert Young Architects and Maziar Behrooz of MB Architecture. Each and every architect whom I met with agreed to design a structure.
He then met with nine local builders: John Hatgistavrou and Jeff Gagliotti of Bulgin & Associates, Ken Wright of Wright and Company, Michael Derrig of Landscape Details, Maude Adams of Artisan Construction Associates, Gary Seff of Fountainhead, John Koronkiewicz of JJK Construction, Michael Davis of Michael Davis Design and Construction, Walter Sternlieb, and Jamie Davis and Nick Zappola of N. Zappola & Associates. All agreed to build the structures according to the architect’s plans.
Once he had the architects’ and builders’ support, he came up with project guidelines and specifications for the structures. The structures had be full-sized, inhabitable shelters for a dog or cat; functional and durable for indoor or outdoor use; no larger than 3’ wide x 4’ long; and easily moved by two adults. He also asked that the architects keep the budget to $500 per structure.
He then solicited the support of Patrick Droesch of Amagansett and Florence Building Materials, who very kindly agreed to underwrite the costs of building materials for all ten structures. He also received additional support from Watermill Building Supply, Speonk Lumber, and Riverhead Building Supply.
He also reached out to Tria Giovan, a part time Sag Harbor resident and very talented photographer whose work appears often in HC&G, House Beautiful, Travel & Leisure, Veranda and more. Tria agreed to shoot the structures and has been extremely enthusiastic about this project.
I received all the structures on or before my July 1st deadline. There are 9 doghouses (including the one I designed myself and my father built), and one cat condo. Each one is incredibly different from the other. They vary from a doghouse (designed by Beeton & Company) which is completely covered in mirror and disappears into the landscape, to a doghouse (designed by Andrew Reyniak) made entirely out of recycled fishing pallets and modeled after a potato barn. The dog house I designed is an A-frame inspired by Andrew Geller’s A-frame Sagaponack beach houses of the 1970s. I named it the “Alpha Dog”. Kitty McCoy’s creation, the “Domus Canus”, is an elaborate dome shaped structure with lattice work on the outside and Chinoiserie wallpaper and parquet flooring on the inside. All of the others are equally special and interesting. Here is the comprehensive list of all those involved:
“Bow Wow Haus” – Robert Young Architects + Fountainhead Construction
“ARF Barn” – ARAPC + N. Zappola & Associates
“The Snoozer” – Martin Architects + JJK Construction
“Benchouse.” – Estudio Ramos + Bulgin & Associates
“Snoop E(nigma) – Beeton & Company + Landscape Details
“Domus Canus” – Katherine McCoy Architecture + Walter Sternlieb Construction
“Shaggy Dogs” – MB Architecture + Michael Davis Design & Construction
“The Purrrch” – Stelle Lomont Rouhani Architects + Artisan Construction Associates
“Pitched Ruff” – Blaze Makoid Architecture + Wright & Co.
“Alpha Dog” – Luke Louchheim + Joe Louchheim
The structures will be offered for silent auction at ARF’s Bow Wow Meow Ball, their biggest fundraiser of the year on Saturday, August 18 or, you can bid online at https://arfhamptons.org/arfitecture starting on August 1.