In the sweltering climate of the Southeastern United States, a cool bit of shade can be a hot commodity. Long ago, before a cold blast of air was as simple as flipping the A/C switch, Southeastern architects developed the Dogtrot house, a log cabin which, when oriented properly, takes advantage of southerly winds through an open side porch, but keeps the shelter protected from rain with overhanging eaves. The classic dogtrot actually consists of two of these cabins, which connect at the side opening, creating a central passageway for natural ventilation.

Now the Dogtrot has been revived several thousands miles north of its origin, by Toronto-based architecture and design team WilliamsonWilliamson. Shane and Betsy Williamson’s version of the dogtrot consists of two modules that can be folded up when necessary to fall within the 100-sq-ft limit for non-permitted out buildings. When unfolded, the two connect, with sleeping quarters on one side and living/kitchen quarters on the other. It’s an ideal temporary holiday dwelling, since it can be folded up and sealed off easily.

WilliamsonWilliamson was recently selected for the prestigious 2006 Young Architects Forum by the Architectural League of New York. The team will be presenting their work on April 27th at the Urban Center, 457 Madison Avenue, New York City, in conjunction with the opening of the Young Architects Forum exhibition that features the winner’s designs. Their work will also be displayed on the Architectural League’s website and in a catalogue to be published by Princeton Architectural Press.

+ WilliamsonWilliamson

+ An interesting case study on Dogtrot architecture from the UC Berkeley School of Architecture

via + EuropaConcorsi


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  1. Inhabitat » Blog ... August 7, 2006 at 5:39 am

    […] Inside the Celebration House, many of the ideas featured in our Inhabitat Green Building 101 series have been put to use, as well as several products previously featured here. Architect Henry Siegel maximized indoor daylight with a dog trot dividing the public living spaces from the private; in the master bath, reclaimed and recycled Teak have been used for the countertops; the fireplace, finished in a warm honey color to keep the room light, is made from a concrete that has been mixed with rice hulls; the dining room features an expandable table made from recycled bamboo, which can seat up to 10 guests; and the guest bathroom and all shower surrounds are made from Renewed Materials’ Alkemi product line. […]

  2. jane Nielsen June 27, 2006 at 9:11 pm

    Hi, Heard you on ” my world radio ” today and thought what a great design idea. My husband and I would certainly like this plan for our back to simpler mode accomodation. I especially liked the idea of pocket doors as a space saver. I guess that why I so love things Japanese, that economy of living environment and furnishing. Good luck–hope you get more coverage. Jane Nielsen

  3. Joe Nimens June 27, 2006 at 6:36 pm


    I find this interesting. Maybe even differently (more?) interesting might be a floating version.
    Easy to move……etc.

    where do I learn more of how to build one or two or six.

    Joe Nimens.

  4. Helen Stewart June 16, 2006 at 3:17 pm

    Hi there,

    I am an expatriate Texan living in southeast Virginia. Lots of older TX ranch homes are dogtrots, including the French embassy to Texas (1836-1945). This design, with suitable modifications, would probably be easy to make passive-solar as well as passive-ventilation. They’re great, and the porch is just perfect for sittin’ in the winter.

  5. Ivan & Joan Roy May 30, 2006 at 7:43 pm

    very interesting idea – we would like to know costs/availabilty/how to order….thank-you – ps – we first read about the “doggietrotter” in the U of T alumni Mag –

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