St Edward, part of the Berkeley Group, is set to create a 'House of Colour' at Reading's lakeside development Green Park Village. Following a nationwide competition in conjunction with the Architects' Journal and weatherboarding specialists James Hardie, the leading developer is set to install a new playhouse designed by winning practice Alma-nac.
The House of Colour competition invited UK-based architects to create concept designs for a children's playhouse, with a brief to showcase future colour trends in residential design. Renowned for its innovation in architectural design, St Edward incorporated classic HardiePlank weatherboarding into its home designs, bringing a slice of New England to Berkshire. The House of Colour playhouse will incorporate HardiePlank weatherboarding into its design. The material creates the natural effect of timber cladding and offers long lasting durability.
Will Hurst, managing editor, Architects Journal comments: We had a superb response to this competition from both established and up-and-coming practices. While imagination and design flair were key elements of the competition, there were also practical issues to be tackled, given the real build project on the horizon."
The entries were narrowed down to a shortlist of six, with the judges concluding that the design presented by Alma-nac entitled 'Upside Down House' was the outright winner.
The competition judging panel included prominent British architect Will Alsop, who commented on the winning design: "The Upside Down House is a clear idea which reflects the open-ended nature of play and will really attract kids. The architect has considered colour, the technical aspects of the build and the landscape. It's a whole play area, not just a playhouse.'
Deana Everingham, Sales & Marketing Director, St Edward, comments: "Our House of Colour competition created an opportunity for up and coming architects across the UK to present their designs to the industry - all six designs on the shortlist were featured in Architects' Journal. The winning design will bring a splash of fun to Green Park Village and we hope it will be enjoyed by residents for many years to come. We're really looking forward to seeing the final result!"
About the Upside Down House
The Upside Down House is a playhouse that references some of the surreal worlds created in children's stories such as Alice in Wonderland and the Pixar film Up. Its simple concept gives rise to a whole new world where the floor becomes the sky, the roof becomes the floor, you enter through the chimney and slide out of the front door.
It maintains the joy of a good play or tree house - providing the ability to be 'king of the castle' and a hidden world where only children can go. Favourites like tunnels, slides, nets and ladders are all included but with a slightly strange context that sparks the imagination and forms the basis for stories and adventures alike. Each façade has its own adventures and its own colour. They can be seen as part of one house or four houses together, each with its own story. While displaying some recognisable elements associated with children's play, the house is not intended to appear out of place in its surrounding context. Instead it draws on the formal language of Green Park Village and borrows architectural motifs from that context. The distortion and reorientation of these elements brings a sense of surreal playfulness to the suburban village landscape.
About Green Park Village
Green Park Village is set among 60 acres of parkland, featuring nature trails, woodland walks, trim trails, play and picnic areas providing a unique lakeside retreat, within easy access of Reading town centre. Amenities within the development include a market square with a café, a community hall, plus a brand new primary school. Residents will also have access to an existing full day care nursery and a gym with a swimming pool at the nearby Green Park Business Centre. The development will benefit from a new proposed train station which will connect to Reading Station and Crossrail in 2019..