Although they had set up shop at one end of the BKLYN Designs booth, RAAD studio is actually based in Lower Manhattan. Nevertheless, their piece had a distinctly Brooklyn-DIY quality to it: among the myriad chairs, desks, lamps and other (international) contemporary furniture at the ICFF this year, RAAD's "Chicken Co-op" came completely out of left field.
It's more or less what its pithy title suggests: a ritzy take on a chicken coop (and arguably the biggest leap forward in coop design and technology ever), which makes for "a perfect oddball modernist addition to a city terrace or roof garden." (For the record, it is perfectly legal to raise chickens in New York City.)
Of course, the unconventional piece would scarcely merit a mention if it wasn't well-executed...
The "Chicken Co-op" was originally commissioned by a client, but, if the brochure—which is peppered with clever jabs at marketing materials for human co-ops—is any indication, the project has taken on a life of its own:The Chicken Co-Op presents a unique luxury option for urban chickens. Floor to ceiling windows allow for unparalleled views. Amenities are fully integrated. Open, loft-like spaces liberate the lifestyles of modern chickens.
An adjustable ventilation system creates optimum comfort for chickens in any weather or climate. The four-nest chicken lost of 63 sq.ft. allows for spacious, comfortable living. Exclusive and social spaces combine, allowing chickens to interact with neighbors and retreat to luxurious private nests.
Still, how does one justify such excess for their feathered friends—surely, no fowl is so fine as to deserve such a sumptuous abode? Again, RAAD can't help themselves with a bit of creative copy:Maximally efficient usage of material and assembly forms graceful living spaces for modern chickens. Flat stacking components are prefabricated by computer-driven routers. Each major component panel represents one necessary aspect of urban chicken life...
Cutting edge design approaches place the Co-op at the forefront of sustainable building. All residences utilize passively heating and cooling sytems. Solar power drives a fan to supplement passive systems thoughout the summer.
If that's not enough to satisfy the eco-conscious chicken—or rather, the eco-conscious chicken-raising urbanite—the panels come in a flat-pack that can be "assembled using [basic tools] in less than one day."
And lest we forget: "Hens are able to maximize their yield and productivity in optimal comfort year-round."
Still, for all the cheap jokes (coop / co-op board anyone?), RAAD actually delivers on the promise of luxury living for chickens: the photo gallery shows the "Chicken Co-Op" in action, and it looks like it might actually work.
The housing market may not have recovered yet, but aspiring urban farmers can live vicariously through their poultry... for the handsome sum of $3,500.