2012 Life of an Architect Playhouse Design – the ‘Dugout’

June 17, 2012 — 18 Comments

So here it is

the 2012

Life of an Architect Playhouse Design

[cue fanfare]

The ‘Dugout’


2012 Life of an Architect Playhouse Design - the 'Dugout'

In case you didn’t get it from the “dugout” name, this years playhouse is themed after a major league baseball dugout. If you’re not a baseball fan, let me just tell you that the major league baseball team here in the Dallas metroplex is the Texas Rangers and they have been to the World Series the last two years and so far this season are looking pretty strong to make it back there for a third year in a row. The popularity of the baseball team is sky-high right now and I thought designing a playhouse with a baseball theme would be a good idea, right? … but one that had some Major League Baseball Texas Rangers logos on it would be even better!! What little boy wouldn’t want a playhouse like this in his backyard?


2012 Life of an Architect Playhouse Design - the 'Dugout'

This post is about 2 months later than it should have been – not that I didn’t have the design in place but I didn’t have permission to reveal my playhouse just yet. Originally I was going to go with an African Safari Rescue Center because that’s what my daughter wanted …(can’t believe I’m writing this on Father’s Day) … and I didn’t give it to her [commence booing and hissing]. Yes I know, I am a crummy Dad but I have her permission to move forward with this dugout design. Part of the reason it took a little longer was I needed to secure permission from the Texas Rangers organization to use their logo – and they graciously said yes.

[cue fanfare … again]

The Texas Rangers are even going to send me a some memorabilia to help outfit the interior – jersey’s, pennants, baseball caps, etc. – AWESOME!! – When I got the idea to do this, the real awesomeness behind it was getting some level of approval and involvement from the Rangers, I can’t tell you how great they have been to work with and for allowing me to do this.


2012 Life of an Architect Playhouse Design - the 'Dugout'

I haven’t actually ever been in a real MLB dugout but I’ve seen them on TV about a million times (and I’m pretty good at 3-dimensional visualization). Inside this playhouse there is a bench, a place to put batting helmets, bats … there will even be a place to put a tub of David’s sunflower seeds (that Ranger’s Manager Ron Washington seems to always be eating when I catch a game).


2012 Life of an Architect Playhouse Design - the 'Dugout'

I even figured out a way to have you step down into the actual dugout (all dugouts are slightly lower than the playing field) while making the construction of the playhouse pretty straight forward. Yes … there is even a phone hanging on the wall so some small child can pretend to call the bullpen to start getting a reliever ready.

I am really excited to get this playhouse built – and I’m pretty sure that it will be popular – at least enough to sell some raffle tickets. As you know, I spend a lot of time on these playhouses – and they all benefit Dallas CASA. I hosted the first Life of an Architect Playhouse Design Competition (the two winners have already submitted to me their construction drawings) and this years dugout themed playhouse is the 6th playhouse I have designed and the 16th playhouse that I have had some role in getting built in the last 4 years. I am humbled to be in a position to use my architecture skills to help these children and this amazing organization.


Okay, so you asked for it (no you didn’t) so I put together a little video this weekend. I am quite sure that most of you won’t like the music I put on here so I am warning you now to hit mute on your speakers. For those of you that are curious, the song is ‘Sail’ by Awolnation’. I thought it might make for an interesting post to take the same video and put all sorts of different style of music on it to see if it had an noticeable impact with how you perceived the actual video. I think it definitely would … could make for a fun post, we’ll have to see about that one.


(in case you are new to Life of an Architect – here is a little information on Dallas CASA and the volunteers that donate their time to abused and neglected children)

Information on Dallas CASA:


2011 Parade of Playhouses benfitting Dallas CASA

Dallas CASA (which stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates) is a nonprofit organization of community volunteers trained and supervised to serve as voices in court for abused and neglected children. On any day in Dallas County, there are nearly 2,000 children waiting for a safe place to live. Many times the CASA volunteer is the only constant in the child’s life during this very difficult process. Parade of Playhouses raises funds for Dallas CASA to continue serving more children who need safe, permanent homes where they can thrive.




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  • brokenkeys

    The z-fighting in your figure drives me crazy… otherwise great video.

  • Jwkathol


    • jwmisc

      ps love the progressive section cut and the awesome sound editing!!

      • thanks – it was interesting to make it like that since I had never worked in iMovie before. Turned out it wasn’t that hard to figure out – think I’ll need to try something a bit more complicated next time.

        Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment – I appreciate it

    • so should I take this response as an indication that you like this particular song?

      Hope things are well in Neb!

      • Jwkathol


  • Ron Campbell, Las Cruces, NM

    As a lifelong Texas Rangers fan AND an architect, I have to say that this is all kinds of AWESOME!

    • Thanks Ron – it’s a good time to be a Ranger fan!

  • Thoroughly enjoyed this post, Bob. I have fond memories of my kids and their buddies playing epic Wiffle Ball tournaments in our back yard (seriously, ten hours daily throughout each summer) while my wife and I doled out water, lemonade and Popsicles by the gallon and gross respectively. Had there been opposing dugouts (Red Sox vs. Yankees in our neck of the woods) I am sure the games would have gone sixteen hours and they would likely still be playing them as advanced teens.

    Nice work and a terrific cause in CASA!

    • Thanks Mike – it makes it a lot easier to do something like this year in and year out when the cause is so worthwhile – standing up for people who can’t stand up for themselves is about the most worthwhile way I can think of spending my time.


  • Dan

    Great playhouse! But I think my Favorite Part had to be the video. It definitely made me laugh.

    • Glad you liked it – at least I hope that’s what you are saying 😉

      I decided to try and make a video using iMovie on my new Mac so you are seeing the results of my playing around for an hour trying to learn something new.


  • architectrunnerguy

    Good angle! Somehow I knew a “game” themed playhouse would get built!

    • I think yours was quite a bit more interactive than my own – still think it would have been a very popular playhouse.

      Hope things are well

  • Why wouldn’t a girl want this, hmmm? Looks super cool and I’ll bet you get a lot of bids on it.

    • probably because I showed it to my daughter and she told me that it was okay that I designed a “boy playhouse” this year but I’ll owe her for next year.


  • Kyle

    Love the video, good music. Good playhouse dispute the fact that I don’t like baseball, but I won’t be the one getting it so that doesn’t matter.

    • glad you liked it (both the music selection and the playhouse design). This one is a slight design departure for me so I am interested in seeing it develop.