Now for a collection of children’s toys to blow your snakes and ladders sets out of the water. 20 architects have been asked to create dolls’ houses, each including one feature which might make life easier for a child with a disability, and funnily enough, with architects from Zaha Hadid to Wayne Hemingway on the list, these aren’t the miniature two-up two-downs you might find in your average toybox.
With tree houses that have aeroplanes suspended in the branches, cardboard models adorned with the words “THIS IS NOT A DOLLS’ HOUSE” and tiny little people scurrying around left, right and centre, the chosen creatives have had a field day with their theme, using the project to condense visions usually renowned for enormity and splendour down to a significantly smaller size.
The project is inspired by the doll’s house that British architect Edwin Lutyens designed for the British Empire Exhibition in 1922, which used “a very traditional children’s toy to display the very best of modern British architecture, craftsmanship, art and interior design”. While this is a hop, skip and a jump away from what I imagine Edwin might have come up with (“and here, ladies and gentlemen, is the wood-burning stove, with a direct passage to the outhouse”) it provides a lovely snapshot of what contemporary architecture is all about – and makes some darn good toys in the process.