The Mirror House

Click to enlarge
Mirror House by MLRP Architects reflects the play of children.

Mirror House by MLRP Architects reflects the play of children. Image: Laura Stamer

Who says houses can’t be fun? In Copenhagen, MLRP Architects have created a funhouse that takes itself seriously. In doing so, it has elevated the architecture of the playground to serious architecture, deserving of wider consideration. Too often, architecture for children is a manifestation of adult fantasies for play. Witness the many ‘adventure’ playgrounds that plague our countryside and are built out of massive tanalised timber members that tiny hands could never grip. Or the franchised primary coloured extruded tubed miseries that pop up like acne because ‘that’s how kids see the world’. Well they will if that’s all you give them.

The Mirror House reflects – literally – the play of children. It is both striking and subtle – the ends are entirely clad in mirrors while the vertical timber sides hide a series of doors that, when opened, reveal concave and convex funhouse mirrors. Inside is a flexible space with rest rooms used by a kindergarten during the day. At night when the doors are closed, anonymity returns and the mirrored ends quietly reflect the environment in which the building sits, waiting to be reanimated by the return of the children.

What makes this house hot is its attitude to its users and to its environment. It takes children seriously and they are better for it. The house knows its place and honours it. If only architects could approach the adult world with as much commitment and consideration – imagine the wondrous world we could live in.


More spaces

Rosie Café

Rosie Café

The ever-impressive Hip Group adds another culinary and architectural flower to its bouquet.
Paris Match

Paris Match

A townhouse in the French capital skilfully combines fine art and luxurious furnishings.
Lounging about

Lounging about

Air New Zealand’s airport lounge in Los Angeles brings a piece of New Zealand to Southern California.
The world's end

The world’s end

A house perched dramatically on the coast of New South Wales, Australia, contains an impressive collection of art.

Most read

Paris Match

Paris Match

A townhouse in the French capital skilfully combines fine art and luxurious furnishings.
Hanging up

Hanging up

Art adviser Paul Baragwanath explains how to live with art.
Life of Pi

Life of Pi

Read about a Paris-based furniture designer’s very clever flat-pack table range.