Building the Asheville Bow-Wowhaus: Architects team up to host Brother Wolf fundraiser

Press release

from the American Institute of Architects

Every dog needs a home and why not make it an artful one! The American Institute of Architects is teaming with the Asheville Art Museum, Aloft Downtown Asheville and Fine Arts Theatre to host a fundraiser for Brother Wolf Animal Rescue in November. The project, The Asheville Bow-Wowhaus teams architects, businesses, and builders to create one-of-a-kind dog houses. The houses, to be displayed at Aloft hotel for a week in early November, will be auctioned at a gala party at the Asheville Art Museum. Proceeds from the sale of the houses will benefit both Brother Wolf and The Asheville Art Museum.

The idea began when AIA Asheville scheduled a documentary film, “Romanza”, a piece by filmmaker Michael Miner about Frank Lloyd Wrights California homes. The film traces homes throughout California, including the smallest of Wrights designs, a doghouse for Eddie Berger, the 12 year old son of a client who wrote Wright: “I would appreciate it if you would design me a doghouse, which would be easy to build, but would go with our house…,” read the letter dated June 19, 1956. “(My dog) is two and a half feet high and three feet long. The reasons I would like this doghouse is for the winters mainly.” He continued that he could pay for the design with his paper route money. “I was probably his youngest client and poorest client,” Jim Berger, now 68, said. Berger rebuilt the doghouse with his brother, using the original plans. It is featured in Romanza and will be displayed at the Bow-Wowhaus events. More information about the film and “Eddie’s doghouse” may be found at

“This got us thinking,” says Thad Rhoden, AIA Asheville President and Principal at Sparc Design, “If American’s most famous architect designed a doghouse; our members could have fun doing the same plus help great causes in our community.” Brother Wolf Animal Rescue is a non-profit organization which operates a limited intake No Kill shelter and foster program for homeless animals. Staff and volunteers are dedicated to finding excellent homes for pets, often specializing in animals who need behavioral training or extensive medical care before being ready for adoption. BWAR continues to promote responsible pet ownership and offers many forms of community outreach in an effort to improve the quality of life for the animals and people in the community, to decrease pet homelessness, and to strengthen the animal/human bond. Since 2006, Brother Wolf has rehomed over 5,000 cats and dogs. “The Bow-Wowhaus event will assist in raising much needed funds to continue our mission of rehoming thousands of cats and dogs,” said Jennifer Warren.

The Asheville Art museum will host the gala Bow Wow-haus auction. “We are delighted to partner with AIA Asheville by hosting this event in our newly-expanded Primed facility,” remarks Pamela Myers, Asheville Art Museum Executive Director, adding “the Museum and AIA Asheville are long standing partners, both central to the community’s cultural landscape. We invite the community and our patrons to attend this special event in support of two worthwhile causes.”

“This concept of architect design doghouses has been repeated in cities across the country with great success,” Rhoden said. “We want to bring attention to the fact that architects are accessible and available to work with clients on all type projects, both large and really small!” AIA Asheville works to promote the value of the architectural profession and to advance the living standards of people through an improved built environment. AIA Asheville has over 200 members in 18 counties across WNC. Rhoden explained that while many dogs don’t actually live outside these days, the Bow-Wowhaus doghouses will be creative works of art, some for display outside and some created for use inside the home as well.

The public may see the Bow-Wowhauses at the Aloft Downtown Asheville, the brand new 115-room hotel in the heart of downtown, beginning, November 5 through Saturday, November 10. Aloft is a pet-friendly hotel, providing a dog walk for four-legged guests on the third floor Air Level, along with the Arf program, which offers a dog bed, water bowl and mat, toy and a special treat for canine guests. “We know more and more people want to travel with their dogs,” explained Catherine Harris, general manager of Aloft Asheville Downtown. “Our hotel welcomes dog lovers, and features no pet fees!” The hotel will donate a portion of sales at its W xyz bar during the week the doghouses are displayed in the hotel to Brother Wolf.

Event details: “Romanza” will be screened at the Fine Art Theater on Saturday, November 10, 4:00pm with the gala and auction following at the Asheville Art Museum. Tickets for the Bow-Wowhaus are available for purchase at the AIA Asheville website. Tickets are $45 per person and include the movie, heavy hors d’oeuvres, beer and wine. Tickets may also be purchased for the movie only for $10 per person. For more information about the Bow-Wowhaus event, visit AIA Asheville,


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