Architects Anna Bach, Eugeni Bach
Gross Area 13,5 m2
Designers’ Comment – Anna & Eugeni Bach:
A moment of truth arrives in a family of architect parents:
“Hey, mum and dad, you’re both architects, right?”
“And you make houses for people?”
“… Well, sort of, yes…”
And then comes the trap, disguised as a simple question: “Would you know how to make a house for us, too?”
In the summer of 2011, we were roped into making a promise to build a playhouse in the apple orchard of our children’s grandparents. A very decisive client, coupled with an enthusiastic designer-builder duo, facilitated a speedy implementation of the project.
The playhouse concept is based on a single-roof-plane section, which is repeated in the form of two inversely connected modules that are oriented in the opposite directions. One of these modules is divided into two child-scale “floors”, while the other comprises a “double-height” space where an adult can also stand up straight. The loft and the ladder leading to it section the interior off into spaces of different sizes and types, creating a backdrop for a multitude of imaginative play scenarios and variations in the use of the space.
The construction work took two weeks. The job employed all three generations: the children hammered nails, sat on things as weights when needed and helped with the painting. Mum and dad acted as designers and builders. Granddad doled out good advice but also contributed by cutting down trees from the spruce forest planted by the late great-granddad and sawing the trunks into what amounted to a great proportion of the timber used in the project.
The playhouse was painted with white stripes to highlight the shape of the section that formed the original design concept. The rest of the wood was left untreated to further emphasise the contrast with the white-painted boards as the wood turns grey with age. The stripes give the house a playful air, reminiscent of a carnival booth or bathing hut. The positioning of the structure amid apple trees, surrounded by a pastoral landscape, serves to accentuate the dream-like and, from the grown-up’s perspective, slightly nostalgic mood. ↙
Photos Tiia Ettala