February 7, 2008

Ur-Hipster Parents Revealed! Silver Lake Playhouse, Neutra-Inspired, Circa 2001!

built_arch_playhouse.jpg

While surfing around for some kitchen cabinets last night, I inadvertently stumbled upon one of the earliest Landmarks [wait, too early to use that word? No, it is not.] of the Golden Age Of Hipster Parenting: a playhouse dating way back in 2001 [!] at a nursery school in Silver Lake, CA, which was designed "in the tradition of Neutra, Lautner and Ain," to "introduce pre-schoolers to innovative design."

It was designed by John Sofio of Built, Inc., a local firm. As he told Michelle Kodis in her book, Ultimate Backyard: Inspired Ideas for Outdoor Living, "There's a real Neutra vibe going in this community...The parents wanted the playhouse to reflect that sensibility. In this neighborhood, we teach them about modernism right from the beginning." [emphasis added for sheer awesomeness]

I'm sure it's too Santa Monica to mention, but the rawness of the materials says more Early Gehry than Late Neutra. But what I really wonder is, shouldn't someone be rounding up 10-yr-olds at the Trader Joe's and seeing how this whole mod4kids experiment turns out?

Built, Inc. completed residential projects [builtinc.com]
"For Kids Only," from Ultimate Backyard: Inspired Ideas for Outdoor Living [google books]

Previously: Un. Be. Lievable modernist playhouse, Mies-style; Long Island modernist playhouse, Meier-refugee-style

2 Comments

It's not early Gehry Santa Monica unless it has Chain link and asphalt floors, just raw studs are more early Gehry Venice.

Although metal studs and polygal is just about the entirety of the LA Archi community circa 2001.

[lolol, good point; there was some driveable paved flooring, too, so I took the asphalt leap. -ed.]

I think this is one of a few playhouses at Neighborhood Nursery School in Silverlake. I don't think they're claiming that the playhouse has a Neutra vibe, but rather that the neighborhood does. When they say "real Neutra vibe" they mean a REAL Neutra vibe. There are quite a few of his houses within a few blocks of the school. Now whether this is complementary to the Neutra homes or not is debatable, but they're of a style that LA, and Silverlake in particular, has beaten to death in recent years.

[you're right, Sofio means SL has a Neutra vibe because it's full of Neutras. -ed.]

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