22 November 2013
20 of the world’s best architects & designers built a dolls house auctioned at Bonhams in aid of the charity KIDS ...
This November I was excited to be invited to the event “A Dolls’ House”, a charity auction of dolls houses originally inspired by Queen Mary's Dolls House at Windsor Castle. The Queen's house was designed by foremost architect of the day Edwin Lutyens for The British Empire Exhibition at Wembley in 1922, and was a traditional children's toy used to display the very best of modern British architecture, craftsmanship, art and interior design.
Cathedral Group (Architects/Property Developers) asked 20 contemporary architects and designers, including, Zaha Hadid, David Adjaye, and Grayson Perry, to design and build a dolls' house for the 21st Century. The dolls' houses were exhibited publicly at Bonhams and then auctioned at a high profile event on 11th November in support of the charity KIDS.
KIDS is a UK charity supporting disabled children, young people and their families. They offer a wide variety of services to parents of children with disabilities and programmes for siblings of disabled children and young carers. Cathedral Group raised nearly £90,000 on the night for KIDS to support their valuable work.
This charity auction itself was an event, with champagne flowing and a quartet playing smoothly by the bar. Canapes were handed around as some 400 guests viewed and photographed the collection of 20 very different houses. Many were not a dolls house as we enthusiasts might think one should be, and with the most famous architect's designs going for thousands of pounds, I don't think any children will ever get to play with these pieces of modern sculpture. I suspect that by now, some of these pieces of modern art are already gracing the foyer of grand City offices and hallways of designer mansions.
The Extra Ordinary House - & - On A Giant Coral Far Away
The evening concluded with the actual auction; as a huge electronic board above the Bonham's auctioneer Matthew Girling showed the prices obtained, and general champagne fuelled enthusiasm erupted as higher and even higher prices were bid as the houses dotted on plinths around the room amongst the guests were sold.