Judging a playhouse design competition is a lot harder than it sounds. To make things even more interesting, I was able to get Houzz, the National AIA, and the fine folks over at SketchUp involved, and that is a lot of chefs in the kitchen. But we are a resilient group and since this year’s competition was all online, I thought I would turn to my friends and colleagues (subtle difference) and ask them all to review this year’s group of finalists. In all, I had almost 30 judges – ranging in age from 6 to almost 80 years old participate. I had architects, builders, Moms, Dads, High School students (future designers), and College architecture students all follow a mind-numbingly complicated set of instructions to determine this year’s winners.
I’d like to thank all of those people for participating because evaluating playhouses is a little subjective – but there are so many other considerations to work through. The picture above is from my friends at Build LLC who evaluated all the entires and as a group, submitted their list of winners. Despite the fact that they appear to be drinking Manhattan’s, I know that they took this responsibility seriously and discussed the merits of every entry at length. Based on the emails I received, this was pretty much the pattern from all my judges (the evaluation process, not drinking Manhattans). But I know you aren’t reading this part – you’ve already scrolled past to get to the goods … the actual winners of the 2016 Life of an Architect Playhouse Design Competition.
I am building a total of 5 playhouses this year (a record high amount) so I am very pleased with the quality of the entries and the difficulty we had in selecting the winning playhouse designs.
Zach George and Taylor Proctor – Lookout Playhouse
Manuel Millán – Say Cheese!
Toda Junya – Continuous Window
I will say to all the other finalists who sadly are not seeing their entry here, I hope you can find some comfort in the fact that no single playhouse was a runaway favorite. The point differential between the top vote getter and the last place finisher was barely 24 points … which is the difference between 3 first place votes. I had all my judges pick their top 8 playhouses and I ranked them according to that order (1st place received 8 points, 8th place received 1 vote)
But there are other winners to announce, including the winning playhouse from the PlayHouzz Competition (hosted by Houzz).
Mashrur Dewan – Love and Peace
Considering that over the last four years almost every single entry I have received was created in SketchUp, this collaboration was a no-brainer. SketchUp held their own judging process in their World Headquarters and came up with a winner and 5 Honorable Mentions. The winner will get their playhouse built (as part of my competition) and the following awesome items:
Riann Kotze – Basecamp
The Honorable Mention winners are:
Sean Li – “Family Place with Fun and Adventure”
Michael C. Brown – “PlaneHouse”
Neil Griffin – “Canopy Playhouse”
Natalie Carran – “Wabi Sabi Teahouse Playhouse”
Jon Kiker – “Swiss Family Sustainable Playhouse”
Finally, I would like to thank all the judges who participated in the judging for this year’s playhouse – I am working on a special treat for you. Have no doubt that you will like it but for now – I’m keeping it under wraps.
Congratulations to the winners and I would like to extend a heartfelt Thank You! to everyone who took the time to participate in this competition. There are so many worthy entries that get submitted that I am going keep the rule in place that if your entry makes it in to the Final Judging Round, it will automatically be entered again in next years competition. I put this rule in this year (I promised to make this rule retroactive for the last three years and it worked out great). I know that with a different batch of judges, the outcome would have looked different and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t consider these amazing entries from year to year.
I will be sending out an email to the winners to let them know that they are now on the clock for preparing their construction drawings ( … you probably thought the fun had come to an end too quickly).
Finally, (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 – these are the people these marvelous playhouses will benefit)
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.