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Discovery Pod Playhouse

Barnes Vanze Architects, Inc.

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dmadsenweaetxdyvaydzcwq, hanley wood, llc

Project Name

Discovery Pod Playhouse

Project Status



880 sq. feet


  • Stephen Vanze, FAIA, LEED AP / Wayne Adams

Room or Space



Design Awards

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Project Description

This playhouse is part of a pro-bono effort to design and build playhouses for auction. The parameters were strict – 10’ x 8’ x 11’ and capable of being moved from the auction site to the buyer’s home. It was truly a prebuilt modular home that had to fit any context, be simply constructed, and be a source of entertainment and amusement for young minds. Inspired by Mondrian, the playhouse is elegant while still appealing to children. Inside is a loft for secret club meetings, a chalkboard wall to strategize water pistol battles and a window in the floor to observe what we had hoped would be a fish pond below the playhouse. A solar panel on the upper roof powers LED lights. The lower green roof absorbs rain water, providing insulation and creating a habitat for wildlife that can be seen from the upper windows. Many of the building materials and elements are recycled from other projects where they would have otherwise been wasted. The exterior is constructed of composite materials for low maintenance and long life of the playhouse. The cubist block, a beautiful object, fits in well in any landscape with the knowledge that one day it may stand alone, long after children outgrow it.
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