ODD nestles cat houses into grooves of hutong roofs in beijing
ODD nestles cat houses into grooves of hutong roofs in beijing
oct 09, 2014

ODD nestles cat houses into grooves of hutong roofs in beijing

ODD nestles cat houses into grooves of hutong roofs in beijing
images ©  jin boan
image courtesy of ODD





the ‘MAOer hutong project’ seeks to enhance the living quality of cats through the installation of quarter-cylindrical boxes along the roofs of traditional hutongs in beijing. developed by okamoto deguchi design (ODD) as a result of the studio’s desire to find an experimental way to learn about hutong life from a different perspective, the initiative seeks to create a community space for felines who are an important part of the local culture; and were installed throughout the dashilar district during beijing design week 2014.



the cat shelters were placed between the grooves of traditional hutong roof tiles in beijing
image © designboom




the modules stand as small shelters which nestle within the grooves of the hutong roofs, while simultaneously protecting the ancient architecture from the cats’ favorite weed, which naturally grows on the upper structure of the homes, slowly leading it to decay. the opening of each V-shaped unit serves as a container, while the bottom element has holes which allow for draining. additionally, the component also functions as thermal insulation for people living below, while protecting the precious hutongs from the elements.

each module is made from wood
image courtesy of ODD


the V-shape of the boxes allow them to fit nicely between the hutong roof tiles
image courtesy of ODD


the boxes also help to protect the historic buildings from weeds
image courtesy of ODD


detail of the ‘MAOer-hutong project’
image courtesy of ODD



a cat investigating the shelters
image courtesy of ODD


concept drawing 



project info:

organizers: ODD (okamoto deguchi design)
designers: odd ( keizo okamoto, tsutomu deguchi, li hongzhen,luo shuanghua,daisuke matsumoto, zhang yunfei)
dates: september 26th – october 3rd, 2014
address: cha’er 23#, beijing
photography: jin boan
manufacturer: shangdong weifang huisen  furniture
special thanks: zhang xiao. ou yang  yan quan, liang ting

  • @Greg, there seem to be wires holding them to the roof.

  • there are small drainage holes for rain.. look a little closer

  • Great idea! I don’t think it can be flooded. That’s why the open part is placed at the lower end and there’s a small step inside between the plant and the shelter part, it’s all the drawing!
    @Melissa: Good point, but please consider that stray cats are more exposed to dangers and weather and require shelter more often.

  • Note to Designer: Cats(most animals) prefer a shelter where there is a alternative exit, where they can escape when a predator found the entrance.

  • You can clearly see the drainage holes at the the bottom of the wedge shape. I think the idea is ok, but how are these anchored? Wind, heavy rain or snow could be a problem and they look big enough to hurt if the shear off not to mention the sharp point on the wedge :/

  • What about rain ? It would be totaly wet and full of water. And cats hate water. As a cat owner, this is useless.

  • hahaha like half of the cat toys that i buy, i don’t see a single cat using or inspecting those houses. my cats prefer plastic bags or cardboard, but i imagine those cats see enough of that already.

    Kevin Sweeney
  • What happens when it rains? Won’t they fill up?


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