In order to design the perfect playhouse, Vikki Drapeau took inspiration from her favourite childhood toy – a troll doll.
The spikey-headed doll had reminded her of the story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff and the bridge they had to cross. An architect student, Drapeau incorporated the bridge element into her design for the FORM Architect and Engineering competition.
The chosen design would be built for the Children’s Centre Foundation Thunder Bay playhouse challenge.
“This one did come out the winner and it was very, very close I must say,” Drapeau said.
“I think it was between this one and a Harry Potter castle. I came up with the design very spontaneously. I totally forgot that I was going to participate in the design competition and then I was in my basement and I saw a picture of me with those troll dolls. I thought ‘that’s probably was my favourite toy so why don’t I design a troll house.’”
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Drapeau unveiled her design along with two other playhouses for the first Children’s Centre auction at Intercity Shopping Centre. Her playhouse will be auctioned off along with the other two houses in order to raise money for the Chidren’s Centre.
FORM, D and D Maintenance and Shore Bay Estates built the playhouses.
She said she was happy to participate in a good cause, but was also glad to have her first design come to life. She added that it is her first step on her journey to go on to design bigger projects.
Tom Walters, executive director at the Children’s Centre, said they wanted to make an event that stood out among other fundraising campaigns. Each playhouse is estimated to cost more than $3,000 and Walters said he expects that the three locally built playhouses will go for much more than that.
“We thought that this event was a perfect match with what we do with the children’s mental health centre,” Walters said.
“There was a lot of work that went into this and unless we can recruit different and new teams to step up then it is really hard to ask the same teams to come back each year. It did take more time than they thought. If you look at the detail in these playhouses then you`ll see that you can’t build these in a weekend.”
The playhouses will be on display at Intercity all this week. The raffle will take place on Aug. 12 at 6 p.m. on the CLE grounds.
Tickets are available at the Children’s Centre, Thunder Bay Counselling Centre, Habitat for Humanity Restore, FORM and Intercity for $20 each. The 2,000 tickets will be sold from July 3 until July 8.
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