Play House

Play House

Architect
DRDH
Location
London, United Kingdom
Project Year
2013
Category
Exhibitions
Stories By
DRDH

Cathedral Group Ltd
Thomas Butler

Play House

DRDH as Architects

Play House is a toy theatre, based on the 18th-19th century paper Theatres Popular. The dressing rooms, scenery and lifts can be enjoyed as a dolls’ house for imaginative play, or as a true theatre for children to stage performances. The theatre features working scenery lifts and curtains in the fly tower, making all floors accessible to its actors and audience. We hope that future owners might have fun creating their own worlds and stories within it.

Play House

Cathedral Group Ltd as Developers

The Play House is a toy theatre, based on the 18th-­‐19th century paper theatres popular in the days before television. The Play House’s dressing rooms, scenery and lifts can be enjoyed as a dolls’ house for imaginative play, or used as a true theatre for children to stage performances for their parents’ delight. The theatre features working scenery lifts and curtains in the fly tower, and back-­‐of-­‐house and front-­‐of-­‐house lifts which can be raised and lowered, making all floors accessible to its actors and audience. Swinging aside the auditorium and foyer of the Play House reveals the stage. The scenery which hangs there can be adapted, added to and remade. There is space under the stage to store the scenery of past and future productions.


The outer shell is formed of through-­‐colour black MDF, with a gloss-­‐lacquered finish. Its simple geometry is based on the golden section and the square. When closed, it forms a mute black cruciform object, which could sit anonymously in the home. When opened it transforms, revealing the inner workings of the back and front houses; a world of colour and amusement. In contrast to its austere exterior, the rooms inside are lined in a selection of coloured timber veneers which highlight the bars, foyer wall linings, workshops, dressing and green rooms. These high-­‐contrast colours also make the house legible for the partially sighted.


For the Play House, we have collaborated with Norwegian artist Anne Katrine Dolven. Her installation consists of several king crab claws which hang from the scenery lifts in the fly tower. These richly decorated found objects are chosen to echo the palette of the Play House interior, and can be considered either actor or scenery on stage. In looking back to the days before the cathode ray tube, the Play House provides a less passive alternative to the ubiquitous screen. We hope that future owners might have fun creating their own worlds and stories within it.


Project Credits
Product Spec Sheet

Featured Projects
Latest Products
News
Lafine de Paris Wedding Showroom provides a unique platform for works of art
21 Jan 2022 News
Lafine de Paris Wedding Showroom provides a unique platform for works of art

In China, Huqiu Wedding City is an important wholesale and retail base for the wedding industry that... More

Peloponnese Rural House by Architectural Studio Ivana Lukovic provides needed respite for a nature-loving family
21 Jan 2022 News
Peloponnese Rural House by Architectural Studio Ivana Lukovic provides needed respite for a nature-loving family

Surrounded by picturesque olive groves in the Greek village of Kalamia, Peloponnese Rural House by A... More

New Alcalá church by Beautell Arquitectos takes a new approach to the traditional architecture of the Canary Islands
21 Jan 2022 News
New Alcalá church by Beautell Arquitectos takes a new approach to the traditional architecture of the Canary Islands

Since the 2011 demolition of the old Alcalá Church for security reasons, locals of the Canary... More

Casa en la Piedad by Cotaparedes Arquitectos offers an exploration of introspective architecture
21 Jan 2022 News
Casa en la Piedad by Cotaparedes Arquitectos offers an exploration of introspective architecture

An exploration of introspective architecture, Casa en la Piedad by Cotaparedes Arquitectos is locate... More

Austria, France, and Spain lead Mies van der Rohe Award shortlist with five nominations each
20 Jan 2022 News
Austria, France, and Spain lead Mies van der Rohe Award shortlist with five nominations each

A seven member jury, consisting of Tatiana Bilbao, chairwoman, Francesca Ferguson, Mia Hägg, Tr... More

25 best architecture firms in New York City
20 Jan 2022 News
25 best architecture firms in New York City

New York City is defined by its energy — but also by its buildings. A city of creators, it is... More

Ca na Riera apartment renovation creatively develops a narrow floor plan to meet contemporary needs
19 Jan 2022 News
Ca na Riera apartment renovation creatively develops a narrow floor plan to meet contemporary needs

A renovation of a flat in Barcelona’s Eixample, Ca na Riera is located on a chamfer, resulting... More

Center for Maine Contemporary Art engages in a dialogue with the urban realm while recalling an industrial seacoast past
19 Jan 2022 News
Center for Maine Contemporary Art engages in a dialogue with the urban realm while recalling an industrial seacoast past

Located in the City of Rockford, the new Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA) by Toshiko Mori Ar... More