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A Big Dollhouse That Doubles As Even Bigger Storage

Pop-Out House, by French architects Benjamin Mahon and Mut Architecture, is the rare designy playhouse that doesn’t make us want to retch.

Typically, we have nothing nice to say about modernist playhouses. The only people who get anything out of them are kids’ design-fetishizing parents (and the people who charge hundreds or even thousands of dollars for them). Pop-Out House, by French architects Benjamin Mahon and Mut Architecture, is the rare exception. It’s a designy playhouse, all right. Note all those crisp lines and all that smooth poplar plywood. But there’s a reason for it: It has to be able to double as a shop display.

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The architects designed Pop-Out House for an itty-bitty children’s store in Paris. As the name suggests, the structure’s characterized by parts that literally pop out. “The main concept for the store was to construct a large doll house within the store, a house you can pull drawers out of, swing doors from, ‪a doll house that lends itself to the imagination of children‬,” the architects say.

So the parts are both playful and practical. An embedded box and a ladder that look like they’d be tons of fun to climb on also have space-saving applications (a necessity in a shop that’s got just 172 square feet): The box can be wheeled out and positioned in the middle of the shop as an island for product displays, and the ladder can be used to reach items stored up high.

Obviously, the architects custom-built the Pop-Out House for a specific retail space. But we bet lots of parents would want something similar for their kids’ rooms. It’d be a cute, fun, and clever way of stashing clothes and toys. And think: Aesthetically minded parents wouldn’t have to buy their daughter that forbidding modernist dollhouse just because it goes with the rest of their decor. They could buy her the ugly, frilly one she actually wants–and finally have a decent place to hide it.

[Hat tip to Dezeen]

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About the author

Suzanne LaBarre is the editor of Co.Design. Previously, she was the online content director of Popular Science and has written for the New York Times, the New York Observer, Newsday, I.D

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