Architects joined with local students at SteelStacks in Bethlehem for a construction project with a cause.
The architects and students built three children's playhouses that will be raffled off to benefit the Pediatric Cancer Foundation of the Lehigh Valley.
The effort is being sponsored by the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.
“Our goal with this competition is to promote learning about architecture and understanding the value of architecture,” said Michael Metzger of Spillman Farmer Architects of Bethlehem.
“Through this project, we hope that people will discover that architects are approachable and play an important role in building and developing our communities. In addition, we’re helping to raise money for children and families who are going through some very challenging and difficult situations, so this is truly a win-win for everyone involved,” he added.
The architects participating in the competition and the descriptions of their playhouses are as follows::
Spillman Farmer Architects, Bethlehem - The Slat House
This playhouse is inspired by the simple, highly flexible structures that children build for themselves - minimal shelters made of cardboard boxes, table tops, blankets or even string. The house is constructed with thermally-modified wood that is insect and mold resistant, as well as fabric elements.
Ryan G. Welty Architecture & Design, Hellertown, PA - Playhouse
This playhouse is designed to invoke the feeling of being in a barn, leaving the child to imagine the things he or she can do with the space. The house is constructed with galvanized metal roofing, wood and steel.
Lehigh University Department of Art, Architecture and Design, Bethlehem - Imaginarium
Made of one-quarter inch thick, two-way mirrored acrylic and birch plywood, this playhouse of wonder reflects the world around it and within. The house is covered in reflective skin - a mirror, it shows the world around you, and you in it. Like a child’s play, the house is whimsical, unexpected, mysterious and incomplete.
Children attending ArtsQuest's holiday festival Christkindlmarkt will be able to explore the playhouses.
The winner of the showcase will be announced Dec. 1. For more information on the playhouse competition and design showcase, visit AIA's website.
Organizers are hoping to turn this project into an annual event.