austin + mergold: ‘rowhouse’ birdhouses‘wrenhouse’all images courtesy of austin + mergold




‘domus avicus philadelphicus’ by austin + mergold aims to draw the public’s attention to aviary urban habitats, by creating urban bird shelters which are influenced by philadelphia’s iconic rowhomes.


‘we aim to have the public ponder the life of their fellow urban inhabitants – the birds – and how the functions of aviary habitats – dry, sheltered and well-ventilated spaces – are similar to that of our own.‘ – A + M

austin + mergold: rowhouse birdhouses ‘wrenhouse’ sectional model

austin + mergold: rowhouse birdhouses ‘wrenhouse’ + ‘cardinal trinity’




the birdhouses are meant to highlight the existence of an often-overlooked urban eco-system, protecting and providing support for philadelphia’s native wildlife. reclaimed materials and sustainable fabrication techniques have been used to construct the shelters. several of the ‘domi’ houses were sited and constructed as part of the art in the open event in philadelphia, exhibited within the university of arts. the exhibited works were accompanied by wood block prints of the birdhouses’ construction drawings.


austin + mergold’s shift of focus toward avian architecture is a result of their saddened outlook on design and construction industry affected by last year’s economic crisis. instead of lamenting of years of bygone prosperity, they have embraced the situation and see it as an opportunity to provide architectural services to a multitude of eager clients within the metropolitan are of philadelphia and other urban settings.

austin + mergold: rowhouse birdhouses ‘cardinal trinity’

austin + mergold: rowhouse birdhouses ‘woodpecker trinity’ and ‘wrenhouse’

austin + mergold: rowhouse birdhouses ‘woodpecker trinity’ green roof

austin + mergold: rowhouse birdhouses philadelphia rowhouses which were the starting point of the birdhouse forms

austin + mergold: rowhouse birdhouses birdtypes and their designated homes