Articles April 26, 2017

Level 10 Construction, Facebook and Olson Kundig design “Dreams Happen” playhouse for Rebuilding Together Peninsula

Source: Mercury News

By JACQUELINE LEE | | Bay Area News Group

PUBLISHED: April 26, 2017 at 4:43 pm | UPDATED: April 27, 2017 at 4:56 am

Life-size children’s playhouses in the form of a secret cabin in the woods, a fire station and an elevated wooden cocoon will dot the landscape of Stanford Shopping Center through June 9 as part of a fundraiser for a nonprofit that rehabs homes for low-income families.

Thirteen custom-made playhouses, backed by supporters such as Facebook and American Girl, will be displayed and auctioned as part of “Dreams Happen,” a biennial event that helps Redwood City-based Rebuilding Together Peninsula rehabilitate close to 200 homes and 25 community centers each year.

“Dreams Happen is our organization’s heartbeat,” said Annel Aguayo, the nonprofit’s development director. “Purchasing one of these extraordinary playhouses means we can rehabilitate real houses for neighbors in need.”

Teams of local architects, designers and builders came together to build structures, some with slides and climbing walls, that are a maximum of 8 feet by 10 feet, and up to 10 feet-6 inches tall.

The “Lacuna” playhouse, by the design-build team of Facebook, Olson Kundig and Level 10 Construction, created a space of refuge for children in the form of a wooden cocoon. A steel frame covered with crisscrossing beams creates a form that is like an “egg in a nest” and an LED-illuminated ladder helps kids climb to the “yolk.”

“Rebuilding Together Peninsula serves our community by bringing people together to support our neighbors with the greatest need for home safety improvements and repairs,” said Fergus O’Shea, Facebook’s director of campus development. “We’ve witnessed the organization’s positive impact, and we’re glad to support the Dreams Happen playhouse auction and RTP’s long-term commitment to the region.”

A special open house from 10 a.m. to noon on May 20 will allow visitors to see inside the playhouses.

An auction and gala is set for June 3 in the center pavilion of the shopping center. Tickets are available online or by phone at 650-366-6597.

“These astonishing playhouses encourage imaginative playtime for children,” said David Cattivera, executive director of the nonprofit. “The gala itself allows adults to indulge in a celebratory evening of our own while generating critical funds that allow Rebuilding Together Peninsula to repair real homes for real people in our community.”

Since 1993, the event has raised about $4 million for the nonprofit, which rehabilitates homes and community structures from Sunnyvale to Daly City. Past winning playhouse bids have ranged from $13,000 to $101,000.

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