The poultry and architecture trades are meeting in a project at Iowa State University. All 87 first-year students in the professional architecture degree program at Iowa State University have been working together in teams to design and build chicken coops.

The teams of architectural students built chicken coops to house three to five chickens. They researched chicken care basics and environmental concerns, conceptualized their designs, salvaged or purchased materials, managed a budget and constructed the coop. They had two-and-a-half weeks to complete the project.


The structures had to meet the specific needs of chickens, including protection from predators, offering enough space to live and range, a place to rest and a place to lay eggs. The coops must also be able to keep the birds comfortable in cold and hot weather.

All 20 coops built by the students are on display until October 25 on the southeast lawn of the College of Design building on the Iowa State campus. And they'll be sold at auction during the Ames Farmers Market on October 26. Proceeds from the auction will reimburse student costs, with any profits going to the Iowa State student chapter of the American Institute of Architects.