See the links below for more information, a bird video, how to purchase, and the manual.
Why? Why build a contemporary stainless birdhouse? Scroll down or click here for an explanation of the advantages and features of the Museum Birdhouse.
Models. Pictures of the two stainless steel models currently available and a few ideas for how they might look in various locations and situations. In 2004 the Museum Birdhouse won an award for craftsmanship in a nation wide birdhouse and feeder contest. In 2005 they were featured in the Edmonton Journal, The Ottawa Citizen and the Boston Globe. They also appeared on several art and design web pages and in the Design Within Reach Catalog.
Video and Photos. Click here for Photos and a Video of real live birds using Museum Birdhouses.
Temperature Control. A description and the results of comparative and simultaneous temperature monitoring of a stainless Museum Birdhouse and a Stokes wooden birdhouse under extreme conditions. The results showed that because of its built in design features the Museum Birdhouse did very well and was only a degree or two warmer than a traditional wooden birdhouse even on very hot days.
Manual. The Museum Birdhouse Manual covers the unique features of the Museum Birdhouse, mounting recommendations, top and bottom photos, cleaning, etc.
Damage Resistance. Photo of squirrel damage to a nature catalog's wooden birdhouse that won't happen with the Museum Birdhouse.
Design Inspiration. Photos of the Frank Gehry designed Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, the Experience Music Project in Seattle, and the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis. Also see the Tycho Brahe Planetarium in Copenhagen.
PURCHASE INFORMATION. Both birdhouse models can be purchased by sending an email to tomdukich (the "at" sign) tomdukich (a "period" for the dot) com or calling me at 509-979-0031. (Sorry for the weird listing. See the home page for why I'm now doing it this way.) Click here for standard availability, prices, and more details. You can also special order via email or phone a Museum Birdhouse with a different size entrance hole, a birdhouse built out of titanium or an optional floor or deck stand.
Why make a contemporary stainless steel birdhouse? I’m a fan of modern architecture as well as a bird watcher. The Museum Birdhouse arose from a combination of these interests and a desire to create a truly functional birdhouse that had a contemporary aesthetic. I wanted to make use of modern materials and fabrication techniques. The design of the birdhouse was inspired by the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, the Experience Music Project in Seattle, the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis--the architecture of Canadian-born Frank Gehry. Hence the name: The Museum Birdhouse.
The first Museum Birdhouse sold at an art auction and had portraits of famous human birds on the inside walls: Larry Bird, Admiral Byrd, The Birdman of Alcatraz, Lady Bird Johnson, and Charlie “The Bird” Parker. These portraits are not included in the models being offered for sale because they aren’t resilient enough to stand up to actual outside use. I also though that pictures of humans on the walls might discourage bird from using the houses!
Design and Construction Details. The Museum Birdhouse is made of high quality stainless steel, including the fasteners. All the parts are cut out with high pressure water jet technology to prevent heat buildup during cutting that will discolor and warp the metal. Assembly, fitting, and finishing is done by hand. This fabrication sequence allows the roof seams to be so precise that they are water proof in rainy weather.
The top of the Museum Birdhouse swings open for cleaning and a special tool attached under the house holds the top open. Over 20 vent slots on the rear wall of the interior provide ventilation in addition to vents on the edge of the back wall. There are drainage holes in the bottom and there is even a ladder inside to provide young birds a good grip when they leave the house for the first time
The interior temperature of the birdhouse was extensively monitored with computerized temperature recorders. The design features and finish were then adjusted so that even at the very hottest time of a 95 degree day, and under direct sun, the Museum Birdhouse was only a degree or two warmer than a traditional wooden birdhouse.
The Museum Birdhouse blends in with the surroundings surprisingly well--natural or urban. Partly this is a result of its simple design. But it is also because the soft finish allows for subtle reflections of nearby vegetation, buildings and the sky. The dimensions of the house were chosen to attract wrens, nuthatches, chickadees, and other small birds
Other features include. 1) Unique structural design, 2) Hand burnished with a custom non-directional satin finish, 3) No lacquer finish coat allows for development of a subtle patina, 4) Since there’s no coating, there’s no chipping, flaking and yellowing, 5) Can be hosed out or even power washed with no ill effects, 6) Made with 304 & 18-8 stainless including the connectors, 7) Will last longer than a lifetime; it’s even squirrel proof, 8) Entirely assembled, ready to use right out of the box, 9) An instruction manual that explains the features and installation, 10) A matching, movable corrosion resistant pole is included, 11) The house is easy to remove from the pole for inspection and cleaning, 13) There’s a well documented history of birds successfully nesting in these houses, 14) Optional hole size, mounting brackets, and bases are available by request, and 15) Made in the U.S.
Final Result. The end result of the design, attention to detail, and field testing is a birdhouse with a contemporary aesthetic that’s truly unique, safe, durable, and it has all the features of birdhouses from a nature catalog. It's sculpture that birds live in.
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