Modern architecture is often derided for being austere, yet over the past few years, I’ve definitely noticed some clever, playful things inspired by the work of Mies van der Rohe, Arne Jacobsen and Le Corbusier. Toys, gingerbread houses and even a bird house have brought a certain down-to-earth charm to some of the most iconic buildings of the twentieth century, making them more accessible to people who wouldn’t necessarily know the difference between Ronchamp and Fallingwater. Here are some of my favourites.
If I had a backyard with birds in it (especially birds wearing black turtle necks), I would definitely buy Monique Engelund‘s tribute to Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion.
I also like April Reed Cake Design’s gingerbread rendition of Mies’ Farnsworth House. It’s strange how good the building looks when rendered with cookies (it makes me think that more architectural models should be done the same way).
I don’t like the Lego version nearly as much, but it’s still cool.
I don’t know many young kids who would enjoy playing with an all-white, Arne Jacobsen-style dollhouse. But I know some adults who would. Or really, I just know that I would. It even has little Arne Jacobsen-style Egg Chairs!
There’s also this gingerbread rendition of Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye.
But the Villa Savoye isn’t nearly as elegant as Thomas Haas‘ super slick chocolate take on a 1949 Eames House.
Teddy Luong‘s fish condo, designed for Umbra, is probably bigger than most downtown Toronto apartments, and is definitely much, much less cluttered. It’s perfect for the type of fish that listens to Kraftwerk and wears leather pants.