Our friends at DWELL have partnered with siding company James Hardie and asking entrants to design the ultimate playhouse! Using their products, designer Andrew Witmer created “The Star Gazer,” a green-roofed dream house, and a top five finalist in the James Hardie Playhaus competition. Witmer’s design is not just for play, but encourages education through curiosity, too.



eco play, playhouse, James Hardie, Dwell, James Hardie Playhaus, Andrew Witmer, Star Gazer, Solar oven, green roof, J. Clay Environments

The Star Gazer would delight children and adults alike. Star cut outs on the facade let light in, as well as a side window which faces a swing set.  Alternating colors of James Hardie siding set the stage for playtime fun.

Inside, kids can play for hours in the play kitchen,  while also learning about solar energy, as Witmer outfitted the kitchen with a solar oven. A chalkboard wall lets kids draw, color and write without using paper or other materials. Or, kids can cozy up in one of the reading nooks with a good book.

A ladder leads out of the playhouse and onto a roof deck. Here, Witmer continues the green lessons, and has a richly planted green roof. Children can learn about gardening, or grow their own healthy fruits and vegetables. At night, they can relax in their roof garden and use the built in telescope to gaze up at the stars, shifting their play-lessons from earth to the universe. Kids will love exiting the roof deck- through a covered tube slide, which brings them safely to the front of the house!

Witmer is a small business owner, having recently started J. Clay Environments, an Interior Design and carpentry service, which he’d invest his winnings in should Star Gazer be chosen. Good luck Adam!

+ Vote for The Star Gazer in the James Hardie Playhaus Competition

+ J. Clay Environments

Via Dwell