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Mei architects and planners is one of twenty architecture firms participating in Peter Masselink’s “Doll’s House” project. Each firm designed and built a doll’s house for children suffering from metabolic disorders. The Doll’s Houses will be exhibited , starting from March 2017, with corresponding publications. Eventually, all Doll’s Houses will be auctioned and the profit will go to Energy4all and Stofwisselkracht for scientific research on metabolic disorders.

All the designs must be built around a central theme that makes a difference in the lives of children with disabilities. Mei chose ‘collaboration’. Our selection of this theme springs from the belief that the strong and the weak should help one another — that solidarity brings about the best results. Mei believes a house is fundamentally a symbol of ‘collaboration’. Many hands are needed to build a house, and when it is built, even more people are involved in running the household.

The entire Mei team, from interns to senior designers, and many friends worked on the project. The resulting prototype is thus quite literally a product of togetherness and collaboration. Our doll’s house contains 5000 scale-model figures. Individually, each figure may not seem like much, but taken together, these little ‘dolls’ create an astounding visual experience. Inspired by examples such as the Pantheon in Rome, and by Claude Ledoux’s 1789 ‘bolwoning’, Mei took on the challenge of designing a unique bulb-shaped house. All the dolls are directed towards the outside world, while a series of randomly-shaped holes in the façade invite the viewer to discover the world inside the bulb.

The result is a Doll’s House created from of 5000 scale-model ‘dolls’, 25 tubes of glue, 423 hours of collaboration, a lot of patience, and Mei’s passion for experimentation and innovation.

For more information on the project, see this Facebook page.