Building Blocks

Children and their ideas inspire to new thinking in architecture

Building Blocks Stockholm

– A playful exhibition about architecture.

Building Blocks is a result of a collaboration between an architect and a client, but in this case the clients are children between 5 and 16 years old. Building Blocks has invited children in different parts of the world to commission a building. Each child or group of children collaborated with a different architect. A discussion between them aimed to develop an architectural brief for a house. The development of the brief through conversation allowed scope for the architect to interpret the client’s vision freely. Each proposal/house was then built in scale 1:1 in the large exhibition space at Färgfabriken.

Building Blocks is a fresh way to open discussions about the accepted norms for all buildings. Is dull architecture a product of a client’s lack of imagination, the architect’s failure to inspire or the restraints of the planning process? While Building Blocks has a serious theoretical side, the project is above all characterized by fun, participation and curiosity, as well as being a platform for interaction across generational boundaries. Building Blocks is an experiment that takes the creativity of children and adolescents seriously and provides a base for a broad discussion of what a home can be, with insights from around the world.

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Top: TERROIR. Bottom: Kjellander & Sjöberg. (Photo: Xenia Nikolskaya)

Participating architects:

Helen & Hard / Stavanger

Hollmén Reuter Sandman / Helsingfors

J&T architects / Dakar

Kjellander + Sjöberg / Stockholm

Kod arkitekter / Stockholm

TERROIR / Sydney

The AOC / London

Zizi & Yoyo / Tallin

Wilhelmson arkitekter / Stockholm

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Pictures from top to bottom: The AOC; Hollmén Reuter Sandman (Photo: Alexander de Cuvleand); Helen & Hard (Photo Xenia Nikolskaya); JT Architects (Photo: Xenia Nikoskaya); Zizi & Yoyo (Photo: Alexander de Cuveland).

During the exhibition Färgfabriken continuously arranged workshops, seminars, modelworkshops and discussions for both children and adults.

After the exhibition at Färgfabriken 2010 the concept Building Blocks has been developed with cultural institutions, architects and children in Oslo (2011), Berlin (2012), Mostar (2015), Bucharest (2016) and Yangon (2018).


Building Blocks is a concept developed by Färgfabriken and Medium, based on children's participations in architecture. The project investigates the accepted roles in the building process, specifically the relationship between architect and client. The idea is based on children, between 5 and 16 years old, as clients and commissioners of architecture. Each child or group of children collaborates with different architects. Each architect’s proposal is built in scale 1:1 and exhibited.