Employer: Smith Madden Group
Client: Kids Under Cover
Project: Cubby House Challenge, Royal Melbourne Flower & Garden Show 2012
Role: Project design leader, brief & concept design & documentation, including interior design, materials procurement & cold-calling, project manager and site meeting attendance
This exciting charity event was a change of pace. The only restrictions were the 2.5 x 3 x 3m high size and 1 tonne weight, able to be craned and moved to site. The freedom of developing my own brief was refreshing. I aimed for a Cubby house that would grow with the family, suitable for young children, to tweens and teenagers. A versatile place for play, theatre, study or chill out time.
Considerations for a cubby that would be suitable for older children & teenagers were weatherproofing & insulation for all weather, ventilation in summer, natural light (a removable full wall of patio-screen), lighting for night time, practical usable area & functional furniture for chill-out and homework use.
Blackboard and inboards line one wall, with a fold-down desk space, shelving and TV on the opposite side. The rear forms a reading alcove for quiet contemplation or reading.
Features included a wall garden with edible flowering plants and herbs to excite the senses, insulate the Cubby House and educate young children in heathy eating. Large plywood blocks could be moved around to form a stage or seating, and an Accolade screen door provided natural light to one full side of the Cubby House or could be fully removed to completely open the side of the Cubby and form a stage with curtains for a children’s performance.
I was also responsible for obtaining donations of all materials (which involved cold-calling), arranging delivery to site & project management with builders Harris HMC. Hands-on aspects involved making and installing curtains, finishes and fittings, planting & caring for the garden wall in the lead up & for the duration of the Show. I also volunteered my time at the Show to present the cubby houses to the general public.
This all culminated in an Episode of “Better Homes & Gardens”, a presentation by Grant Denyer on “Sunrise”, a grand opening with Darrell Somers, and an appearance for me on the 3AW radio station.
We also took out a sweep of prizes including the Hocking Stuart Award for “Best Architectural Design”, Master Builders Association of Victoria’s Award for “Best Craftsmanship” & the Peoples’ Choice Award on the day. The cubby was auctioned to raise money for Kids Under Cover.
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Photography by Mark Elliott