Twenty of the world’s biggest architects were asked to design on quite a small scale last month. Cathedral Group commissioned architect-designed dollhouses for a charity auction to benefit KIDS, a United Kingdom-based organization supporting disabled children. A Dolls’ House sold the interesting toys a few days ago at Bonhams in London and Zaha Hadid’s 30-inch-by-30-inch, puzzle-like home, This Must Be the Place, received the night’s highest bid: $22,500.
Hadid’s design is based on a previous commission from the German Design Council, her 2007 Ideal House Colonge Pavilion. Each of the charity dollhouses was required to explore an innovation that could improve the life of a disabled child. Drawing from her Cologne Pavilion’s inquiry into the concept of an “ideal house,” Hadid’s toy dwelling is a puzzle of six interlocking wood or Perspex forms, representing rooms of the home. The pieces can be disassembled and rearranged in multitudinous possibilities, rotated to fit in grooves on a surrounding wood platform. In this way, the dolls’ home can be expanded or closed in an instant; a single action can bring the rooms together or create free space for movement.
A dollhouse design by Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands was the second highest bid of the night, collecting nearly $18,000. Overall, the charity auction raised over $145,000 for KIDS.