Playhouses are fun to create because they are made for little people who like cozy spaces and do not mind an occasional contortion.

SONY DSCSONY DSCThis playhouse was originally built for our grandkids here in Fairfield. When that property was sold, it was lowered onto a trailer and taken just outside town to Lonnie and Valerie Gamble’s homestead for their son, Elliot.

playhouse8The playhouse on the left is part of the Maharishi School Nature Explore Playground here in Fairfield. Lin and I taught a design class with 12th grade boys who collectively came up with this plan. It was implemented with the help of many children and parents and has withstood creative use far beyond what we could have anticipated.

playhouseThis little playhouse shown on the right was part of my brief romance with diamond shaped trusses. It has a caged ladder on the right side leading up to a lookout.

SONY DSCThis led to an adult sized diamond truss structure which was to be more of a bunkhouse than a playhouse.

And, you know, it could have worked.

SONY DSCThis was not the completed structure but it shows my attempt to do a cantilever. The right side of the diamond was supported by posts attached to concrete piers. After this picture was taken I put some recycled siding on the end walls and screening on the under side of the diamonds. With a couple bunks inside it made a good summer sleeping spot. Unfortunately, it was a very dry summer and the ground shrunk away from the concrete piers. One afternoon our son Will was trying out the bunk on the unsupported side of the structure. Little Arwid who was living in a yurt nearby decided to surprise him. Just as she jumped on him and shouted “Boo!” the whole structure tipped over. Fortunately, no one was hurt and lessons were learned. More concrete.

SONY DSCFinally, we have the tiniest house of all made for our granddaughter’s American Girl doll.

Playhouses have been an important influence on all of the structures we have created. We are increasingly bringing the element of play into what we build even if that structure has a very serious purpose.


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