CHICAGO, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- What little girl hasn't dreamed of living like Barbie? The clothes, the professions, the cars -- THE DREAM HOUSE.
The American Institute of Architects recently held a competition to design a Dream House for Mattel's newest addition to the line, Architect Barbie.
And she's going all out.
Architects Ting Li and Maja Paklar had the winning entry, a design featuring entertaining space, chef's open kitchen and an office-library-meeting space on the first floor. The second floor sports a terrace and the third and fourth floors are Barbie's private quarters, including a bedroom on three and inspiration space on four.
It doesn't stop there. On the roof is a greenhouse and landscaped garden with irrigation system to reduce the heat island effect.
The house also is eco-friendly, with solar panels, shading devices, bamboo flooring and low-flow toilet and sink fixtures. Much of the house is built with locally manufactured materials. Ditto for the furnishings.
Both Li and Paklar received their degrees from Harvard's Graduate School of Design and are living in New York.
"Barbie was both of ours' favorite doll growing up in China and Croatia," Li and Paklar said in a release. "We appreciate the versatility of our profession which allows us to express ourselves in a myriad of ways -- from entirely built city environments to a Barbie Dream House. We hope to encourage more young female architects to flex their design muscles and just to have fun with architecture."
Institute President Clark Manus said the design "did an excellent job of showcasing the innovative approaches that architects reflect in the design of projects of all types."
Institute spokesman Frank Scott said the house would go for $3.5 million if built in Malibu, Calif.
In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Paklar said the house is about 4,800 square feet, built on a bluff overlooking the ocean. The structure makes just a small footprint though since it's cantilevered over the bluff.
The architects took Barbie's lifestyle into consideration, so they put a giant closet into the center of the house and with a mechanically operated -- think dry cleaners -- double helix rack that spirals through all four floors. The open space in the center also allows Barbie's pet giraffe sufficient neck room.
Paklar said Mattel doesn't plan to manufacture the house but has donated $1,000 to a Philadelphia high school that emphasizes architecture and design.
Paklar gets a kick out of how Mattel has depicted Architect Barbie -- thick black glasses, little pink blueprint tube.
"(It's) kind of funny, because, you see, architects don't draw by hand anymore. It's all on computers. But I guess when people think 'architect,' they think blueprints, which is really funny."
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