A Dolls' House, a project by Cathedral Group, adds a contemporary twist to a childhood pastime. The UK developer rounded up 20 big-name UK architecture firms -- like Adjaye Associates, Zaha Hadid Architects, Coffey Architects, dRMM, Duggan Morris, FAT, MAKE, and Studio Egret West -- in collaboration with designers and artists to have each of them create their own modern version of a doll house that will be auctioned in November to raise £100,000 for KIDS, a charity that supports disabled children, young people, and their families throughout England. The doll houses will also be presented and exhibited at Bonhams before they are auctioned at an evening event on November 11.
Aside from showing off the personal visions of each design team, these one-of-a-kind doll houses include at least one element designed specifically as a learning aid for children with a disability.
Among the list of well-established names and their reinvented doll houses include MAKE Architects whose "Jigsaw House" was inspired by the classic jigsaw puzzle game. Zaha Hadid Architects' "This must be the place" is described as an interpretation of their 2007 Ideal House pavilion commission that emphasizes re-evaluation of composition and form.
"House for a Deaf Child" by dRMM in collaboration with Richard Woods Studio and Grymsdyke Farm supports visual communication through sign language, while FAT Architecture's "Tower of Fable" reimagines Ernő Goldfinger's Brutalist Balfron Tower fit for playtime.
The inclusive "Inside Out" doll house by Coffey Architects encourages fun and play in addition to raising awareness of a critical housing issue for families with disabled children.
Some of the doll houses emphasize invoking a child's imagination by having a storybook element. "The Grimm's House" by James Ramsey - RAAD Studio in collaboration with artist Lara Apponyi uniquely re-tells the tale of "Hansel and Gretel" that can be experienced by children with or without eyesight. Designed to be explored by touch, the story is written in braille and circumscribed on the house's all-white exterior, with its jagged path reflecting the narrative. Adding to this house's slightly perturbing whimsical nature, the interior cavity is sculpted from hard candy, braided hair, and bones.
Kids will be able to make their own stories with "Play House" by DRDH Architects in collaboration with Norwegian artist Anne Katrine Dolven. The toy theater -- inspired by the 18th-19th century paper, Theatres Popular-- is complete with performance working scenery, lifts, and dressing rooms.
Based on the good ol' concept that experience is the best teacher, "Elvis's Tree House" by AMODELS (yes, that Elvis) is meant to be physically challenging because "kids learn for themselves faster that way."
Online bids can be placed until November 11 at noon. Afterward, only bids at the evening auction event will be counted. All proceeds will then be donated to support KIDS.
For more details, click here.
Browse through the thumbnail gallery to see more doll houses.
All photos by Thomas Butler courtesy of Cathedral Group