The Origami Coop sees the ubiquitous chicken coop as an opportunity for experiment. Designed for my parents’ house in Stroud on a relatively small budget, the brief encouraged experimentation with form and construction and a chance to put academic work into practice.
We set out to eliminate the framework found in a traditional build. Therefore we did a series of experiments with folding standard steel mesh. The resulting design is a self-supporting galvanized steel mesh coop that protects the chickens from foxes, snakes and other pests with a small plywood structure for the shelter and egg collection.
The coop is currently home to 6 chickens but has been designed for a total of 10 to allow for expansion if required. The pivot door mechanism was a bespoke element designed to maintain the gates non-structural role. Lubricated steel discs provide lateral stability for the gate and double nuts allow for easy removal and re-greasing. Large back doors provide easy access for cleaning and the removal of plywood waste trays that are lined with straw to generate mulch for the adjacent vegetable gardens. The brief also called for roll-away nesting boxes to simplify egg collection and prevent the chickens pecking at their eggs. Fake turf is used on a shallow incline to facilitate the rolling of eggs. The collection trays employ galvanized steel mesh to cushion eggs and allow for easy inspection. Shade and rain protection is provided by a custom fly-roof made from folded aluminium flashing, designed to neatly interlock with the galvanized steel mesh structure.
The design draws inspiration from folding paper to create structure and material efficiency. Basic building components were reduced to single sheets of plywood and galvanized steel mesh and all construction is readily repeatable.