Ten brilliantly imaginative children's ideas for houses of the future have been turned into modern 3D models to get a sense of what they'd really be like – and the results are fascinating.
Everybody who has ever learned to hold a pencil has doodled a house on a scrap of paper. It’s one of the first things that young children do: first they make squiggles, then themselves and their families, and then the houses in which they live.
The difference between architects and the rest of us is that they carry on doodling houses while the rest of us move on to drawing teddy bears, horses or giant robots with death ray eyes. It’s the way of the world.
But just as the truths spill from the mouths of babes, what if great home designs were to spill from their crayons? That was the starting point for some bright spark at made.com. They asked a group of children between the ages of four and 12 to come up with their dream home of the future – then got a grown-up architect to turn those doodles into the sort of glossy CGI mock-ups you see on builders’ websites.
It’s a lovely idea, and the results were fascinating. Many of the children created homes that feared for the environment – and it’s surely a good thing that the newest generation has its eye on that particular ball, given how badly the outgoing generations have dropped it.
There were dark fears in some of the drawings: 12-year-old Kya from Esher designed a ‘stealth’ home that is a beautiful beach house by day but invisible at night.
What is the night camouflage for? Presumably to keep the occupants safe in the forthcoming zombie apocalypse.
Seven-year-old Ellis from Essex came up with a bullet-proof titanium house. No doubt architects in the urban United States are already working on this plan already.
Kudos to Ellis for sourcing titanium the colour of Cotswolds stone, incidentally – the professional 3D artist must use a different supplier:
Several of the plans are things that are probably already being worked on, such as 10-year-old Isla from Worthing with her house entirely covered in solar panels.
One day we’ll surely see something along those lines; perhaps our beloved country houses will become something like vintage cars are today – a curiosity and an anachronism, kept as a sort of living museum, while the bulk of the population embraces newer technology.
And, truth be told, the 3D rendering of this idea has somehow retained a bit of charm. Plus this house also includes a library, games room, music studio and gym.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom about variations on the apocalypse. The world is smaller and more connected than ever before, and five-year-old Charlie from Folkestone came up with a flying house that can be taken with you anywhere in the world.
Especially useful, we’d imagine, for those who move into a promising new area only to discover that they can’t abide their neighbours.
Some of the visions show the sort of beautiful imagination and lack of restraint that almost always leave us as adults. Take 10-year-old Ameen from Crawley, whose vividly-coloured castles-in-the-air are the stuff of fairy tales.
While the professional architect added plenty to most of the designs, we think we actually prefer Ameen’s original rendering in this case:
Alannah, a seven-year-old from Woking, had similarly wonderful ideas: a slide made out of jelly, and windows made from melted strawberry lollipops.
Best of all, it’s always sunny on one half of the house and rainy on the other side. Because in the future, you always want to be able to look at a rainbow.
Alannah, above, made it rainy and sunny; seven-year-old Gana from Crawley made it simultaneously light and dark, to allow for playing or stargazing at any time.
And of course, there’s a slide straight from the front door. Good luck to the postman scrabbling his way up that to get to the letterbox.
Full credit to the 3D artist’s craft for making the most of eight-year-old Hamza’s idea. His treehouse is packed with brilliant ideas, but the original rendering definitely benefitted from the polishing.
Stone steps around the base of the tree lead to a rope ladder that goes up to the house itself. Kevin McCloud himself would be impressed.
Living in the trees is eco-friendly, but so is 10-year-old Antoni’s pyramid-shaped home has similar aims. Solar panels and
There is also a section in the middle that is a viewing platform to take in the view – something that the Egyptians and Aztecs both forgot to include. Neither did either of those great civilisations include a dedicated parking space for a hover car; Antoni made no such blunder.
And finally, sometimes, the classic designs are the best. There’s a touch of Georgian splendour about seven-year-old Tilda’s home.
But Tilda came up with something that the likes of George Nash never dreamt of: the walls are sugar-coated and made from custard cream biscuits; the red bricks on the corners are cherry flavoured; and there’s a bubble gum door and strawberry juice-coated roof. Presumably the latter helps with waterproofing?
You can see more details about these Homes of the Future at made.com.