LATEST NEWS Green Building
September 19, 2012
Building playhouses for a good cause
Some of British Columbia's best architects, forest companies and construction firms came together to design and build several unique playhouses for charity.
The playhouses in the Canfor Playhouse Challenge were featured this year at the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) in Vancouver, B.C.
Fair goers could try out the houses and vote for their favourite online.
“We were approached by Canfor for a place to showcase these amazing playhouses,” said Laura Ballance, spokesperson with the PNE.
The People’s Choice award went to the team of Hughes Condon Marler Architects, The Haebler Group and Canfor Pulp for the Building Blocks House. The project earned 32 per cent of the vote.
The second place award went to The Airplane House.
Students and faculty from the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) designed and built it. Canfor was the forest company.
Sakshi Misra is a graduate of BCIT’s Architectural Sciences program. She worked on Airplane House.
Canfor requested that an airplane be included as part of the design, since it’s a part of their history.
The project presented various challenges.
“It was difficult because we were building it for kids,” Misra said.
“We were keeping in mind that kids don’t always use things in the way we intend them to use it.”
She said it wasn’t just the visual aspect of the design that they kept in mind, but also the tactile experience.
The house utilized Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) Panels.
The third place award went to The Beehive House, which was done by the team of PCL Construction, DGBK and West Fraser.
Thousands of young visitors to the fair got to play in the houses.
“We were excited to be the only place where the public could come out and enjoy, and experience, the quality and construction in an amazing tribute to B.C.’s forest industry,” Ballance said.
Other companies got involved too.
The Whirl was made by Stuart Olson Dominion, designed by DIALOG and made with wood from Western Forest Products.
The InstaTree House was designed and built by the team of Ventana, MQN Architects and Conifex.
The Pirate Ship House was by DA Architects + Planners, Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver and Ainsworth.
The Teepee in a Box House was by the team of Michael Green Architecture, Blackfish Homes and Interfor.
“When we first undertook the project, I pictured Hobbit village-type houses and I think it’s a testament to the incredible imagination of these designers to have come up with the whimsy,” Ballance said.
The playhouses were auctioned off to pre-registered corporate buyers for donation to children’s charity organizations across the province.
The proceeds benefited Habitat for Humanity affiliate locations across B.C.
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