Martin Houses

In collaboration with John Snavely and Stephen Purdue

In response to a competition organized for the city of Chicago to generate ideas for the reuse of abandoned rooftop water tanks, we proposed the repurposing of the tanks into nests for migrating birds.

Our proposal looked specifically at Purple Martins, a native and social, songbird that is attracted to living in aggregated ‘condo-style’ manmade houses. Though not critically endangered, Purple Martins have experienced periods of significant population decline in the 20th century and more recently. Over the past century, Purple Martins have become dependent on man-made habitats, making man-made urban and suburban nesting structures critical to the survival of the species.