Architecture-with-a-capital-A isn't always regarded as one of the more playful creative fields, but give the pros a good cause and they just might surprise you. London-based developers Cathedral Group enlisted the star-studded talents of 20 top UK architects and firms to make a custom dollhouse for an upcoming auction benefiting Kids, a charity dedicated to disabled kids and their families.
The results are an interesting mix of concept and practice. Well-intentioned design thinking and problem solving -- how to address realities such as hearing and vision impairment and autism -- is combined with more whimsical touches and artistic flourishes that make for a pretty wide range of styles. Some seem like they're ready for some rough and tumble action at the tiny, curious hands of a lucky little one, while others definitely look like they were made for display only; and with prices currently hovering around £1000 to £2000, it's likely most these won't end up crammed in a closet or forgotten in an oversized toy chest anytime soon.
If you're so inclined, online bidding is available through to November 11. Whether you'll be able to snag one for less than this $US33,000 miniaturised backyard creamery? Only time, and the bidding gods, will tell. [Archinect]
Electra House by Adjaye Associates
A light-filled, live/work, indoor/outdoor haven.
Compass House by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
The combo of colour and texture here were included to engage visually impaired children.
Inside Out by Coffey Architects
This concrete abode encourages good times outdoors.
Elvis's Tree house by Amodels
This wild site was inspired by a real place in Southampton (and not The King, despite what the name might suggest).
House for a Deaf Child by dRMM
Sign language and visual communication are easily seen across this airy place. Plus, the custom Richard Woods paneling is a super nice touch.
Multi-Story by Duggan Morris Architects
Rather than stick with the traditional cross-section usually seen in dollhouses, here the rooms are isolated and stacked, cutting down on visual clutter that may affect those with Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
Tower of Fable by FAT Architecture
It's never too early to introduce your little darling to the harsh beauty of Brutalism, as evidenced by this teensy remake of Ernö Goldfinger's Balfron Tower.
The Extra-Ordinary House by Glen Howells
A tactile, timber-terraced home.
Jack in a Box by Guy Holloway
Flipping a switch on this small A-frame will begin to inflate a tent inside, which breaks open the walls and roof and becomes a full-sized, air-filled igloo.
Mae-Mak House by Mae
This adaptable home can be added onto and taken apart, making for an interactive experience.
Jigsaw House by MAKE Architects
This puzzle-like structure is 26 mini-homes -- each with its own personality -- all in one.
Morag Myerscough and Luke Morgan
"there's a place out there to the west of town where nobody pushes no one around a place where birds and fishes play on a giant coral far away where the sun is warm and the breeze is cool and the sea is bluer than a swimming pool you can play music and dance all day on a giant coral far away a house on a coral in the deep blue sea a house on a coral in the deep blue sea just imagine you could be in the house on a coral in the deep blue sea"
Puzzle House by Studio Egret West
Each of the cubbies in this structure has a small treasure inside, making it a bit like a performance space.
Zaha Hadid Architects
ZHA transformed the firm's 2007 Ideal House pavilion into a small-scale experimental shape-shifter.