#@@#@!![+] Pet Project: The Rise of Barkitecture – The Urban Developer


There is no denying Australians’ love of man’s best friend, and increasingly they are being thoughtfully included in the design of some of the biggest and best apartment towers in the country.

From grooming stations, pet-walking services, podium-based dog parks and dog-wash facilities, developers have embraced “barkitecture” for a more inclusive vertical home experience.  

Almost two-thirds of Australian households have a pet—40 per cent of those are dogs and apartment developers are on board for the four-legged revolution in high-density buildings.

Developer Sarazin has included a pocket dog park in its two-tower development Nuage at Woolloongabba, which has just won approval from the Brisbane City Council.

Sarazin state director Adam Rainbird says he wants to imbue the Woolloongabba wallet with all the amenities he was exposed to during his time working in the multi-family sector in the US.  

▲ Facilites including doggie daycares and pet grooming facilities are progressively being included in residential tower developments, here and overseas.

“In our latest building Silk One, we’ve got a very high percentage associated with owner-occupiers and a lot of them have dogs, ” Rainbird says.

“Looking at that trend we wanted to cater to our residents, plus we’re looking at offering dog walking services as well.

“We know there were a lot of fur babies welcomed during Covid-19 and we believe that having dogs and dog parks helps to develop a real sense of community.

“Obviously it’s at some cost to (Sarazin) because the dog park is taking up valuable saleable area, but we think the trade off is good, it’s creating a liveable community that residents can enjoy. ”

Rainbird says having a centralised green space in a high-density development meant residents were less reliant on having eco-friendly space nearby. Sarazin is looking to break ground on the Nuage project in early 2024.  

Frasers Property’s first Brisbane-based build-to-rent development Brunswick & Co includes a rooftop dog park and dog wash for the four-legged residents of its 366-apartment, 25-storey tower in the heart of the city.  

▲ Brunswick & Co in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley will include a rooftop canine park.

Frasers Property Australia’s general manager for advancement in Queensland Scott Ullman says residential communities are being designed with four-legged family members in mind .  

“There’s a definite trend towards more comprehensive, pet-friendly design in new residential projects, ” Ullman says.  

“Customer experience is all-important to us, and we know this is very important to them. For us, this design shift is not about a return on investment as much as it is a lifestyle value-add.

“When you provide an amenity that caters to every household and is inclusive for those who have pets, the benefits to wellbeing and connection within the community are significant. ”

Australia has one of the highest dog ownership rates in the world, with an estimated 30. 4 million pets across the country, that’s more than one pet per person. And Covid heightened our love of our faithful pets.  

Pet ownership increased from 61 per cent in 2019 to 69 per cent in 2021, with more than a million dogs being made welcome into households during this time.  

▲ Dog possession rose markedly during Covid—now, dog owners are looking for developments that will meet their pet’s needs as well as their own.

Pinterest searches for barkitecture have increased 115 per cent since 2020, with a “dogs-first” architectural design becoming more prevalent.  

Mosaic Property Group actively looks for sites close to dog parks and amenity for its residents. Founder Brook Monahan says their design philosophy is “always driving by how people want to live” with an understanding that pets are important household members too.

“As a developer, to ignore this would be commercially plus socially irresponsible, ” Monahan says.

“We pride ourselves on providing a minimum of pet-friendly features as standard, including spacious open-planning, stain-resistant finishes, large balconies with a tap, outdoor showers and purpose-built dog washes particularly in coastal locations, a grassed outdoor common area where possible, and selecting locations close to parks and open outdoor spaces.

“On the human side, we see how pets really support fostering a sense of community within our buildings. We do what we can to promote this, hosting or helping facilitate pet-friendly events for residents. ”

Gone is the era of overwrought body corporates forcing out pet-owners. The doggy days are here to stay.

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