Be, a silken windhound, has allowed us access to her home in London designed by architect Tonkin Liu …
Spanning five floors and 200 years of history, Be’s home is a classic Georgian townhouse renovated for the 21st century. The building comprised individual flats until a pair of architects already living there saw it as an ideal place for both their firm and their family.
They carefully combined the spaces to create a flow among the floors without removing any of the time-honoured details; personal belongings are displayed in ‘floating’ storage solutions to leave the walls, ceilings and floors intact for future residents.
Where their singularity really shines is in the contemporary extension on the ground floor. They eschewed a back garden for a linear sitting area with a curved roof so the sun can shine in or rain can fall on the small pond, allowing them to slow down and appreciate what nature provides for free.
The level of consideration for their environment is reflective of the research they put into everything, including Be. They knew their urban London setting and thriving office atmosphere would require a relaxed dog. After a month at the library shortlisting their favourite breeds they decided on a silken windhound, a couch potato of a dog that exerts energy in short bursts.
Be is happy to hang out all day, exuding her quiet authority wherever the humans are – working at their desks, meeting with clients or eating lunch together in the kitchen. But once outside, her cat-like behaviour becomes more like a racehorse; she can fly as fast as Usain Bolt around a track or at Hampstead Heath, a perfectly windy park to surprise her family with her newfound agility and speed.
From: Resident Dog (Volume 2) by Nicole England, Hardie Grant, £30 out now.
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