The opportunity to create a children-oriented architecture generates in architects a series of memories that provoke that the inspiration that filled them transfers them to the past. In my opinion, this one can be interpreted in two ways. On the one hand, the need to create based on the experiences of the places they frequented, both positive and negative. The ones they worshiped when they were in childhood and they want to change. On the other hand, other resources are the memories, images, stories, series, colours that marked the architects and reflect in their works.
Considering that, here are 10 examples of architecture for children and architects who have put themselves in the shoes of their future small-sized consumers.
We started with a house, in this case a holiday house in Thailand. When Mr. and Mrs. Sahawat told the architectural studio Onion their preferences when it comes to experience the space – a fun and playful environment in which their four children, and even them, could enjoy, never imagining how the project would fit so perfectly with their ideas. The core of the design is the cartoon series “Tom and Jerry” and the house is based on the construction of the hypothetical house of the mouse “Jerry”, and the nooks and crannies for which he would have to flee the cat.
In the words of the architects “if mouse Jerry’s house was built, it could resemble to a large piece of cheese in which the Moebius tape would be a convenient route for him to flee from Tom, the cat “. As for the work’s execution itself, the house is distributed through five platforms. In and between them it’s easy to be able to suspend themselves in their nets, lie on their slopes, perceive changes in heights, hide in the holes or even hang from floor to floor. The “Jerry House” is a family amusement park.
The wing of oncology and haematology of the University Hospital of Vall d’Hebron has a new face. Catalan study Toormix has produced a complete new design. The starting point – to blow out the imagination of children who are being treated or recovering there. How? By using simple illustrations that create a welcoming environment for both patients and their families, but always looking for the smile in children’s eyes viewpoint. There are three differentiated spaces – waiting room, consultation area and treatment area. Each area has a different decorative theme, from space to sports. Every grain of sand counts for happiness.
La Casita was born from the illusion of two children. The children of Anna and Eugeni Bach discovered that their parents were architects and they also wanted their parents to construct them a house. What started out as a promise, ended up as a project. The design of the house of games is not that different from the drawings that we made as kids. In itself, the house is a structure of two equal but opposite modules. Inside there is a double height that allows access to adults and connected areas through a staircase for children to play and have their private areas. The wood is the king material of La Casita. Resembling this project to the traditional farms.
The school is perhaps the place where we spend most time when children. Dominique Coulon studio designed the school André Malraux for the government of Montpellier. The triangular shape of the plot helps to bet on a more dynamic complex. The school is spread over three floors, sharing courtyards in several areas visually. As for the volumetry of the centre, the architects wanted to break free from the traditional space of the school. Creating larger spaces and more playful purposes, always thinking as children’s minds would. The school where we all would have wanted to study in.
This house is designed for the weekend, time when parents want to continue sleeping a little more during the morning. There are many cases where children get up early and want to play. This house is perfect for those moments. In itself is a playground. Each of the three platforms that make up this house are a bedroom. The main being the lowest. In this way, the rest of the house becomes the children’s play area. Climbing nets, stairs and even a hidden room form this house dedicated to games. A house that encompasses the best for parents and children.
When you are a kid, going shopping is often a tedious activity. It seems that the exhibitors, coat racks and counters extend to infinity. But we came across Little Shoes, a magical shoe store designed for kids. The centre of the store are the shoes, white, black, coloured, printed, and the Nabito studio knows how to take advantage of it – by creating a neutral space through small tiles placed in grids. This idea transports us to the notebooks and is an extra help how to organise the shoes. This store is not only designed for the little ones, but for the kid everyone has inside.
Again the children are the “culprits” of this project. In their dreams they wanted a house in the tree, but their space lacked any tree at all. That’s how customers contacted Saperlipopette Les Architectes architectural studio. The architects decided to relate with their own parents, local artisans and neighbours. The result is a tree-house that breathes creativity and ingenuity. In this way the tree-house became a wall-house using the one that surrounded the garden. It is built in such a way that it gives the feeling of flying, of being in a floating space. Thus being in the tree-house feels great. It could not be in any other way – the pine wood is the material of this project. Casa No Muro teaches us that children have no limits when it comes to playing, nor the architects.
We go back to school, but in this case to a kindergarten. Frederiksvej Kindergarten is situated in Copenhagen. Those in charge of carrying out this mini city were Cobe architects. The idea: the gabled house that we all drew as kids. The result: the direct transfer of adults to childhood and the creation of the feeling of daily life and joy in the kids. From the outside, the nursery is organized through 11 small volumes that in the eyes of children looks like a village. From the inside, it looks for light and creates rich spaces with double heights and interior patios that make life in this building more permeable and transparent. In addition, architects play with changes in materials, colours, shapes and light inputs. This makes the creativity and learning of children renewed each day.
London cannot stop surprising us. And as you might expect the London Architecture Festival is an event to discover not only new studios but also allow us to marvel at the ephemeral installations that are there. This is the case of one of them. Xylophone Pavilion, designed by the London studio pH +. This is a big musical box. The walls, covered by copper pipes that allow the visitor to play creating music as they enter the construction. As the name implies, the result of this design is a giant xylophone. An interesting fact – this pavilion has been created for the London Centre for Children with Cerebral Palsy (LCCCP) and after the show at the Festival, will be relocated to the Centre to help the children to develop.
Kengo Kuma & Associates is responsible for creating a community space so that citizens can meet, carry out various recreational activities and enjoy the architecture that surrounds them. The room that attracts the most attention is the one destined to playground. Its ground rises creating a topography that resembles a set of hills. The idea is to create in the interior an atmosphere that remembers the nature, so that the children can play as if they were outside during the hard winter.