What you see here is possibly the world’s least fun dollhouse. You’ve got ramps instead of floors and rooms shaped like a thorny geometry problem. All the merriment of a classic dollhouse — the frilly curtains, the lush little sofas, the velvety bedrooms for innocent dollie seductions — has been stripped away. The whole thing resembles a doll’s version of a parking garage. Without any dolls.
Naturally, it was made by architects, a profession deadset on sucking the joy out of children’s playthings. To be fair, the Clementine House was never meant for kids. Designed by London-based TDO Architecture, the house was a one-off commission from Wallpaper to reinterpret Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye house, an icon of Modern architecture.
TDO’s approach was to take one of the Villa Savoye’s defining features, its open floorplan, and flip it on its side. That’s why you get all the weird slopes and honeycomb-like rooms. Their reason: “As Doll’s Houses are played with from the front TDO identified that the modernist ‘free plan’ needed to be converted to a ‘free section’ to allow for interaction with all areas.” Which sounds logical enough — if you can ever get your hands around all the sharp angles.
The dollhouse is probably best suited as a piece of furniture. There’s a light inside, so when you close it up, it takes on a nice warm glow, “hinting,” the architects tell us, “at the fun within.” That’s another thing about architects: They’d rather hint at the fun than have it.
[Images courtesy of TDO Architecture]