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

The elegant oasis

The elegant oasis

A neighbourhood is being reborn in the heart of Auckland’s city fringe. Currently in its second stage of development, SKHY is located on the corner of Symonds Street and Khyber Pass (hence its name) on an elevated site that is within walking distance of all the main centres.
Theatre of small intimacies

Theatre of small intimacies

An apartment for a creative couple – an opera director and a film director – offers up drama and grand gestures mixed with subtle and delicate moments.
Mad about Madrid

Mad about Madrid

This sophisticated, nine-storey inn was designed by Jaime Hayon as a contemporary take on classic Spanish motifs.
The legend of El Dorado

The legend of El Dorado

The home of Puerto Rico’s leading luxury residential developer is a fitting gem on the Caribbean coast.
Modernist horizon

Modernist horizon

This holiday home in the Hawke’s Bay is equal parts relaxation, art gallery, viewing platform and a subtle homage to Palm Springs.
Colour me tender

Colour me tender

Borrowing from Moorish motifs, Brazilian vernacular, contemporary art and a playful melding of colour and forms, this home is never, ever dull.

Most read

Theatre of small intimacies

Theatre of small intimacies

An apartment for a creative couple – an opera director and a film director – offers up drama and grand gestures mixed with subtle and delicate moments.
The elegant oasis

The elegant oasis

A neighbourhood is being reborn in the heart of Auckland’s city fringe. Currently in its second stage of development, SKHY is located on the corner of Symonds Street and Khyber Pass (hence its name) on an elevated site that is within walking distance of all the main centres.
Win a Kyoto outdoor bean bag

Win a Kyoto outdoor bean bag

It’s time to make the most of the last sunny days and balmy nights. Enter to win a designer Kyoto outdoor bean bag crafted by luxury furniture brand, Lujo.
Mad about Madrid

Mad about Madrid

This sophisticated, nine-storey inn was designed by Jaime Hayon as a contemporary take on classic Spanish motifs.
Designer profile: Francis Sultana

Designer profile: Francis Sultana

Camille Khouri talked to renowned interior and furniture designer Francis Sultana about his life as a designer and his beautifully furnished apartment (featured in the current issue of Urbis).
Modernist horizon

Modernist horizon

This holiday home in the Hawke’s Bay is equal parts relaxation, art gallery, viewing platform and a subtle homage to Palm Springs.
Wunderkammer

Wunderkammer

This Auckland home is a cabinet of curiosities filled to the rafters with meticulous design and well-curated art.
Foot room

Foot room

A home for handcrafted leather footwear company Revie has opened in Ponsonby.