Modern Style for Backyard Urban Hens


I’ve had the opportunity to keep in regular contact with Rob Pyatt (e.g., 1940s Boxhouse and Pinon House), principal of Pyatt Studio, and his work with Urban Hens is really taking off right now.  The Urban Hens Project is meant to develop a sustainable, closed-loop model for establishing chickens in urban settings.  Hens provide eggs, they eat kitchen and garden scraps, and if you’re really hard core, they’ll become a fine little dinner.  Check out these modern, Quonset hut-inspired chicken coops:


The University of Colorado School of Architecture and Planning gave Rob Pyatt an advanced studio course to teach sustainability to students through community outreach and service learning design build projects.  For part of the course, Pyatt agreed to help Urban Hens, and the class designed a new model for the chicken coop.  So far, one has been built in Pyatt’s backyard, one has been built at Shawnee Gardens, an assisted living center, and another at North Boulder cooperative residential community.

The arched structure is made of corrugated metal, which is cheap and easy to build with, and was designed to allow people to stand inside.  The horizontal slats provide both shade and ventilation, and the sand floors were chosen for easy cleaning.  The fully-enclosed structure is bolted to a concrete slab so it holds up to dogs / animals and doesn’t tip over.

Below, you can see the process of putting one of these up.  The last image shows how the coop actually integrates, at a larger level, with raised beds and Pyatt’s family garden of vegetables.  Wow!  Soon, a coop-kit will be available to purchase, and it will host 4-6 hens.  Follow this link to learn more info:

[+] Learn more about the Urban Hens Project.






Photo credits: Urban Hens; Dwell.

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  • theauthor

    Wow…that’s a hell of a mini-farm they’ve got going there. I just completed an organic garden myself. Hope it yields the same amount as this one.

    I like the chicken coop too. I recently saw this other modern coop you can buy that comes with chcickens. It’s called the Eglu. The wife wouldn’t let me get it :(

  • M Realty

    Very cool. Portland allows people to have chickens in their yard even if they live in the middle of the city (no roosters though). There are also walking tours (self guided and guided) of the different awesome sustainable chicken coops that you can find around the city check out the “tour de coop” if you ever get the chance.


  • foghorn leghorn

    Unfortunately closing the loop isn’t that easy. Store bought chicken is typically a 6-1/2 week old chicken because at about 12-15 weeks they are too tough to eat.

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