Waimea Mirror House 2014
A collaboration between Judith Abell and Georgina Freeman, the Mirror House developed from Regio Emilia thinking that environments incorporating multiple mirrors are a playful way for young children to understand their three dimensional selves.
This small, steel clad house located at Waimea Heights Primary School takes the form and scale of a traditional playground cubby house, but is clad and deconstructed in a way that extends the potential for play and interpretation. Walls clad internally and externally in mirror stainless steel reflect the surrounding natural and constructed play environment and offer children ways to see the top, sides and rear of their bodies in order to understand their own scale and shape. The mirrors, particularly the curved ceiling of the house, also offer the side-show style distortion of their reflections. The rear wall is clad externally in a range of textured steel – some mirror, some linished, some ridged repurposed sinks – so that tactility is part of the potential for play.
One wall and one section of roof have been ‘removed’ from the form of the house to increase the potential for interpretation. This move offers a structure to which students can attach decorations, or clad temporarily in order to change the effects within the environment and to support impromptu games and performances. In each case, the mirrored and reflective faces contribute to the creation of a unique environment.
Images featuring children from Waimea Heights Primary School.
Photographs: Peter Whyte Photography