Tubular Playhouse

Project Description

Our fascination with the module of material took us down an interesting path during the AIA Eastern PA Playhouse Competition. We wanted to develop a structure that was light and easy to assemble: an eco-friendly structure that could be configured by a child without any tools, glue, or fasteners. To build the structure, we wanted a singular, durable material that could be used as the structural system, the walls, the roof, and the furniture: cardboard.

Awards

  • Most Daring Playhouse – AIA Eastern PA Chapter, 2014

Project Details

  • Client AIA Eastern PA Design Competition
  • Completed 2014

Repurpose, Recycle, Rethink

In 2014, AIA’s Eastern PA Chapter held the second-annual Playhouse Competition in partnership with ArtsQuest and Christkindlmarkt.

The purpose of the competition was to raise awareness about design and local firms, as well as benefit local charities. After our first-place win in the inaugural 2013 competition, we knew we wanted to make some changes to minimize our materials, streamline our process, and improve our product. Our fascination with the module of material took us down an…

In 2014, AIA’s Eastern PA Chapter held the second-annual Playhouse Competition in partnership with ArtsQuest and Christkindlmarkt.

The purpose of the competition was to raise awareness about design and local firms, as well as benefit local charities. After our first-place win in the inaugural 2013 competition, we knew we wanted to make some changes to minimize our materials, streamline our process, and improve our product. Our fascination with the module of material took us down an interesting path. We wanted to develop a structure that was light and easy to assemble: an eco-friendly structure that could be configured by a child without any tools, glue, or fasteners. To build the structure, we wanted a singular, durable material that could be used as the structural system, the walls, the roof, and the furniture: cardboard. Cardboard not only fits all of these criteria, but has already been established as a kid-favorite (perhaps to the chagrin of parents everywhere, when they realize that the toys in the cardboard box aren’t as popular as the cardboard box itself)!

Our cardboard tubes, originally headed for the landfill, came from large-format roll paper stock. We began to develop a cloverleaf module of friction-fit tubes to help influence the overall form. The cloverleaf plan morphed into a structural totem, which eventually became the wall. The same cloverleaf module used in the wall pieces became the structural diaphragm for the roof. Once a simple module for vertical and horizontal elements was developed we distilled the entire structure into a vocabulary of four parts and three modules. The four lengths of tube 36”, 18”, 9”, and 4 ½”. The complexity of its form is a result of its simplicity in parts, and the connectivity of material allowed for an incredible play of light.

Award Most Daring Playhouse – AIA Eastern PA Chapter, 2014

Project Tubular Playhouse

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