Design-Lead Modern Dollhouses for KIDS

If some of the most innovative and creative contemporary architects created dollhouses, what would it look like?dollhouse_plan

At Clerkenwell Design Week, I had a preview of the answer at an event hosted by Domus Tiles.   I went to the launch of a miniature dollhouse preview by Cathedral Group (a property developer) for KIDS.  KIDS is a national charity supporting disabled children and their families in England.dollhouse_plan

Cathedral Group decided to get involved with KIDS when one of their own staff members had a child with a disability.  They are devoted to raising GBP 100,000 for this charity.  So far, they have raised GBP 23,000.  You can check out their story, their money raising efforts and their progress to date on their website.

Martyn Evans, the Creative Directive for Cathedral, has come up with a creative way of fundraising for kids.  He has approached 21 well-known designers and architects make modern dollhouses to be sold at a charity auction at Bonhams this November.  The designers involved include Zaha Hadid, David Adjaye, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Phil Coffey, Christophe Egret and Christian Spencer Davies.  The latter 3 designers gave a small presentation on the progress of their dollhouses.

Phil Coffey of Coffey Architects has created a concrete dollhouse that can go in the garden.  He had listened to evidence from the Joseph Rowntree foundation which found that disabled children like having outside space in a home because it was usually hard to get to the park.  The concrete dollhouse also has a little herb garden of its own in order to stimulate the children’s senses of touch, taste and smell.


Christophe Egret of Studio Egret West came up with something completely different.  He has created 7 objects that can be placed together using magnets for a child to create their own house.  The child can use their imagination as well as learn about composition and aggregation.  The objects can be dismantled and tidied up at night in case space is tight.

Egret's design

Interestingly, while the adults congregated around the Elvis Treehouse (below), the only child at the event couldn’t stop playing with the Egret prototype.

Egret with prototype

Christian Spencer Davis of A-Models created a completely wacky doll’s treehouse primarily because Christian asked himself what a child would want in a house.  He decided a child’s dream house would have slides, trampolines, televisions and other fun stuff.  He created a dollhouse that is on a scale designed for Playmobil people (in his case, he had an Elvis Playmobil person to hand).

The treehouse is supposed to be stimulating and engaging visually and physically. It definitely has a lot going on – pools, cars, TV’s etc.

My favourite part of these presentations was listening to the designers discuss their creative process.  All three people came up with completely different prototypes with the same brief.

More information on this exciting project will be available when its dedicated website ( launches in a couple of months.  I can’t wait to see what tweaks these three designs will have and what all the other architects produce!

So, what do you think?  Which one is your favourite?

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