Fairy-Tale Architecture

By Kate Bernheimer and Andrew Bernheimer with others

Places Journal now hosts a beautiful and easy-to-navigate page where you can see all ten architectural designs produced to date for this ongoing series. Andy and Kate are working on a new installment for Winter 2015!

Project Description: Fairy tales have transfixed readers for thousands of years, and for many reasons; one of the most compelling is the promise of home. How many architects, young and old, have been inspired by a hero or heroine who must imagine new realms and new spaces — new ways of being in this strange world?

For this series of architectural fairy tales, which we began to curate five years ago, participating firms — including Guy Nordenson and Associates, Leven Betts, Rice+Lipka Architects, studio SUMO, Bernheimer Architecture, and many others — have produced works exploring the intimate relationship between the domestic structures of fairy tales and the imaginative realm of architecture. You can read about the design by Rice+Lipka for the Jorge Luis Borges story “Library of Babel” here, in the Los Angeles Times.

Houses in fairy tales are never just houses; they always contain secrets and dreams. This project presents a new path of inquiry, a new line of flight into architecture as a fantastic, literary realm of becoming. We welcome you to these fairy-tale places.

At Places Journal, you’ll find structures for stories such as Rapunzel, Jack and the Beanstalk, The Little Match Girl, Baba Yaga, and Monkey King. Through images and interviews, architects, engineers, and designers here consider dynamic, real-world questions about fairy tales.

This project is ongoing.

— Kate Bernheimer & Andrew Bernheimer

Additional architectural collaborations between this brother-sister team include House of Fairy Tales, a design for the Hans Christian Andersen Museum in Odense and “Tale of Disappearance,” a commissioned fairy tale with a diptych design produced for Ninth Letter.


Kate Bernheimer © 2014 | website by Noah Saterstrom