Kids Pod is a pavilion extension to Hill House, a house we built in 2006, connected to the original via a glazed bridge. It is located on a vineyard towards the southernmost tip of Australia, with views across the vines and valley beyond. It contains a bedroom, playroom and bathroom for our clients’ current and future grandchildren.
Kids Pod is a reinterpretation of how we once imagined our own childhood cubbyhouses to be. It is playful, theatrical, secretive and robust. It punches beyond the reaches of its diminutive size.
Its external timber skin is imbued with layers of meaning: a reinterpretation of the landscape of the vineyard and the protective canopy of the treehouse. The locally sourced boards run continuously across both walls and windows, CNC-routed into a pattern abstracted from our clients’ favourite Pinot Noir vines. Over the windows, the timber is mounted onto customised, operable steel shutters. Designed in close collaboration with the builder, steel fabricator and electrician, the shutters open when Kids Pod is occupied to permit light in and views out. They close at night, glowing like lanterns, or when the rooms are unoccupied, returning the building to a silent timber folly within the landscape.
Inside, the bedroom and playroom are divided from the corridor by a theatre-inspired, strawberry red curtain and from each other by a retractable wall. These devices permit multiple configurations of internal spaces. They can be open and connected, or enclosed for privacy and rest. The corridor is a space for many things: a play space for toddlers; a reading nook for teenagers; a stage for performances. The plywood lining brings warmth and texture to the rooms, marking them as spaces for kids, and will absorb the bumps and scrapes of growing children with ease.