Ask Luke Louchheim what his interests are, and he can think of the following three answers: tennis, architecture and helping animals like his own two dogs, Sam and Buttercup, who were adopted from the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons.
Luke, 14, a rising freshman at Pierson High School, has spent the last nine months working on a charitable project that connects two of his passions. He has enlisted the help of nine notable architects and nine local builders to design swanky doghouses and cat “condos” that will be auctioned off at the Bow Wow Meow Ball, ARF’s annual benefit, on August 18. Luke even designed one of the doghouses himself, having been tutored in architecture recently by Amelia Steelman, and built it with the help of his father.
“I like being able to come up with something,” Luke said. “You come up with something that represents your personality. [Architecture] combines creativity in coming up with a design, with math when you’re designing it on the program, and it takes a lot of patience in going back and editing it. It’s an art, obviously.”
He said the project has been challenging.
“I’ve written so many emails. Maybe hundreds, over and over again, but it’s actually pretty fun to organize it and see it come to fruition. It started as nothing, and it turned into something really big. When it’s done, I hope it raises a lot of money for arf.”
Luke worked with some of the biggest names in architecture on the East End: Michael Lomont of Stelle Lomont Rouhani, Blaze Makoid of Blaze Makoid Architecture, Juan Ignacio Ramos of Estudio Ramos, Andrew Reyniak of ARAPC, Nick Martin of Martin Architects, Kitty McCoy of Katherine McCoy Architecture, Bill Beeton of Beeton & Company, Robert Young of Robert Young Architects and Maziar Behrooz of MB Architecture.
Luke also enlisted the help of nine contracting firms, John Hatgistavrou and Jeff Gagliotti of Bulgin & Associates, Ken Wright of Wright and Company, Michael Derrig of Landscape Details, Maude Adams of Artisan Construction Associates, Gary Seff of Fountainhead, John Koronkiewicz of JJK Construction, Michael Davis of Michael Davis Design and Construction, Walter Sternlieb, and Jamie Davis and Nick Zappola of N. Zappola & Associates. Patrick Droesch of Amagansett and Florence Building Materials underwrote $5,000 in materials, with Riverhead Building Supply, Watermill Building Supply and Speonk Lumber also providing donations.
Bidding on the structures — which range from a mirrored house to a cupola-shaped house and just about everything in between — will start at $1,000 each.
Through his project, Luke said he’s learned something really important about the South Fork community.
“It’s just a really helpful community,” he said. “They don’t hesitate or hold back when they help.”
For more information on arf, visit arfhamptons.org.