Architect flies coop to create garden home for chickens

Architect flies coop to create garden home for chickens

Architect flies coop to create garden home for chickens

Backyard chicken coops are increasing in popularity throughout America, but many urban chicken farms struggle with how to house chickens without turning a backyard into a barnyard.

One Madrona resident has taken on the challenge of designing a modern, aesthetically pleasing chicken coop that allows urban residents to maintain the beauty and functionality of their limited garden space.

Madrona architect Traci Fontyn recently established Kippen House, a business that designs and builds modern, modular and multi-functional chicken coops.

Unlike other chicken houses or pens, Kippen House designs also have built-in gardening space so customers don’t need to choose between raising vegetables or raising chickens.

Fontyn started Kippen House in 2010, after being laid off from her job with an architectural firm. Finding herself suddenly a stay-at-home mom, Fontyn sought ways to blend her passion for design with her new focus on family life.

She started with her own backyard garden and quickly became enamored with the endless possibilities for self-sufficiency and sustainability presented by the urban agriculture movement. Raising chickens was a logical next step, but how to find the right chicken coop?

It didn’t take long before she had rejected the available, factory-made options and decided to design one herself. After testing out numerous prototypes on her toughest customers (her son, Madden, and husband, Cory), Fontyn hit on a design that is functional and flexible while maintaining a modern design sensibility.

Kippen House coops can be configured to fit virtually any space or design preference, and the garden space can be either vertical or rooftop. The chicken coops are hand-built from Douglas fir; which has a high natural resistance to moisture absorption, decay and insect infestation.

Kippen House has designed and built many chicken coops for urban farmers in Seattle and Portland, Ore., and it has been featured on numerous urban agriculture websites, blogs and magazines. For more information, visit

TARA CONKLIN lives in Madrona. This is reprinted with permission from the Madrona Community Council’s Madrona News newsletter.[[In-content Ad]]