An annual design/build fundraiser benefits the Arizona Animal Welfare League

By Nora Burba Trulsson

Photography courtesy of Design for Dogs

Some wags might say that design has gone to the dogs. At a recent Valley fundraiser, that’s exactly what happened. The annual Design for Dogs competition, which benefits the Arizona Animal Welfare League, attracted numerous entries from Arizona architects, interior designers, builders and industry partners who crafted clever doghouses. Held at the Scottsdale showroom of Facings of America, the event yielded three winners, plus a People’s Choice Award.

The Phoenix office of architecture firm Ware Malcomb and Breise Construction won Best In Show for “The Working Mutt” dog house, a stylish, functional piece of furniture that not only offers Rover a comfortable place to curl up, but doubles as a storage unit where pet owners can keep toys, treats and accessories organized.

The “Barkelona Pavilion,” designed by Earth & Images interiors, Candelaria Design Associates architects and GM Hunt Builders, won second place with their take on Mies van der Rohe’s iconic Barcelona Pavilion. With a cantilevered roof, a dog cushion modeled after the Barcelona chair (fabricated by AZ Custom Designs) and polished chrome details, the design evokes bow-wow-haus architecture.

Third place went to the “Tail Waggers Renewable Retreat,” a sustainable doghouse designed by IK Interiors, Cawley Architects and Felix Construction. With louvers for airflow, a rainwater capturing system and solar panels to provide light for the interior, this canine condo is finished off with woodsy pine details and a forest green color scheme

Treasure in the Detail interiors and The Contractor Guys received the People’s Choice Award for “The Retreat,” a doghouse that takes its cue from A-frame cottage architecture. With a Dutch door, a cushion made with commercial-grade fabric and a roof that opens up for easy cleaning, this retreat enhances the proverbial dog’s life.

The howlin’-fun event included food and cocktails, music, learning opportunities for adoption and animal advocacy, raffle prizes and a silent auction for the stylish doghouses. In addition to Facings of America, other sponsors of the event included Ferguson, Whirlpool, MTI, Zephyr and Satco.

The beneficiary of this cocktail event—the Arizona Animal Welfare League (AAWL)—is the state’s oldest and largest no-kill shelter. The organization was founded in 1971 by a group of animal lovers led by actress Amanda Blake (Miss Kitty from TV’s “Gunsmoke”). Blake retired from acting to a home in the Arcadia neighborhood of Phoenix, where she and her husband ran an experimental program to breed cheetahs. Since its inception, AAWL has saved the lives of more than 100,000 cats and dogs through its shelter, adoption program, behavior training and low-cost medical care.