Let’s play Playhouse

Canfor’s Playhouse Challenge is an annual event at Vancouver’s Pacific National Exhibition. B.C.’s top wood suppliers have teamed up with local architects and builders to design and realize imaginative playhouses for kids. The playhouses will be on display in a special themed area for the duration of the 2013 Fair at the PNE, Aug. 17- Sept. 2.

Following the Fair, the playhouses will be sold to pre-registered corporate buyers for donation to communities and charities throughout the province. This year, the funds raised will go to the B.C. Children’s Hospital’s ‘Child Health B.C.’

The architects at Office of McFarlane Biggar worked with Kindred Construction. They decided to showcase the beauty of the wood and to see how playful they could be within the confines of the requirements (the playhouse was limited to 8’x8′ so that it could be transported to the fair on a truck).

Their response was to build their playhouse from a minimal palette of only 2×3 pieces of spruce-pine fir, protected from the elements with a clear coated varnish, and to break their structure into two parts, thus enlarging their playhouse with an additional rope climbing frame in between. The twin structure, which they’ve named ‘Sam + Pam’, was built in a factory and constructed on the site in one day.

Sam + Pam offers children new spatial experiences and suggests new forms of play.

Here is the project statement from OMB:

Sam + Pam are twins. They are very much the same, only different.
The big day is here: they are ready to leave their lumberyard in Vanderhoof.
Swinging their rope bridge between them, they trundle off, in search of fun.
Suddenly, the quiet is broken by shrieks. Children play, adventure reigns, imaginations soar.
“Sam, why are you laughing?”
Sam blurts, “I-I-It tickles!”


British  Columbia’s  top  forestry  companies  are  teaming  up  with  some  of  the   province’s  most  innovative  architectural  firms  and  talented  builders  for  the  2nd  Annual  Canfor’s   Playhouse  Challenge,  a  unique  undertaking  that  will  ultimately  entertain  thousands  of  B.C.  children   while  providing  funding  for  B.C.  Children’s  Hospital  Foundation.  

Canfor’s  Playhouse  Challenge  will  see  the  building  of  several  unique  and  imaginative  children’s   playhouses  that  will  eventually  be  auctioned  off  to  corporate  donors.  Each  playhouse  is  a   collaborative  project,  with  a  BC  forest  products  company  donating  building  materials,  an  architectural   team  contributing  their  creativity  in  design,  and  a  local  builder  providing  their  expertise  in  design.    

“Building  on  the  incredible  success  of  last  year’s  event,  we  are  very  excited  to  launch  the  2nd  Annual   Canfor’s  Playhouse  Challenge,”  says  Don  Kayne,  president  and  CEO  of  Canfor.  “This  challenge  not  only   brings  joy  to  thousands  of  children  and  families  across  the  province,  but  also  showcases  the  vast  array   of  local  sustainable  forest  products,  creativity  and  talent  that  British  Columbia  has  to  offer.”    

Finished  playhouses  will  be  on  display  in  a  special  themed  area  at  the  2013  Fair  at  the  PNE  where   they  are  expected  to  draw  hundreds  of  thousands  of  little  visitors  throughout  the  15-day  end-of-summer  event.    

Following  the  Fair,  the  playhouses  will  be  sold  to  pre-­registered  corporate  buyers  for  donation  to   children’s  charity  organizations  across  the  province.  Funds  raised  will  go  to  benefit  B.C.  Children’s  Hospital  Foundation’s  Child  Health  B.C. Program  to  ensure  every  child  in  BC  has  access  to  consistent   and  first-rate  standard  care,  no  matter  where  in  the  province  they  live.    

For  more  information  on  Canfor’s  Playhouse  Challenge, visit playhousechallenge.com.