We love any program that promises to train the next generation of real estate obsessives, like the "My Dream House" program at the Center for Architecture. Here now, writer Ian Volner spends a day in architecture class with nine- and ten-year-olds.
When we were but wee bairn, we liked wholesome things—cruel pranks, violent movies, purloined cigarettes. But these kids today! They like table soccer, and books, and saunas. Such, at least, is the impression formed on a visit to “My Dream House”, a week-long summer course at the Center for Architecture that gets kids in grades three-to-five to conceive, draw, and build a scale model of their ideal home, tailor-made to their own discriminating tastes.
The class is sponsored by the Center for Architecture Foundation, the onsite educational and outreach operation that runs year-round programs out of the LaGuardia Place facility. The summer courses have been in place since the center opened its doors in 2003, and some variant of “My Dream House” has been a popular staple of the curriculum ever since.
When we visited, the kids, along with their teen- and adult-age minders, were busy cutting and pasting their models to cardboard bases on which they’d sketched out the floor plans in advance. A few agreed to talk to Curbed. Others hid.
Curbed: I see you’ve decided to make your house very modern. You don’t like the gable-roofed, cottage sort of thing?
Uday, 10, rising fifth grader: My mom and dad are both architects, and they’re designing a house sort of like this on Long Island for my uncle. I really don’t have that much of an explanation. I just didn’t wanna do something traditional.
Curbed: You’ve got two towers on yours. Did you get that from looking at those big apartment buildings on Central Park West, like the San Remo?
Abigail, 9, rising fourth grader: No. I just felt like two towers. It’s gonna have more room then I need, though, so I guess I would plan to rent out one of the floors. I don’t know how much I’d rent for. Probably $100,000 a month.
Curbed: You got a nice game room there. Pretty boss. Is that foosball table something you wish you had in your parents’ apartment?
Zubin, 9, rising fourth grader: I actually have a foosball table at home. But it’s broken. This one would work.
Curbed: A bungalow! Kind of a beach bum, huh? Wish you lived in California?
Harrison, 13, rising eighth grader (summer intern): My dad takes me out to Rockaway Beach a lot. I’m fine with the subway ride. New York has a lot of great properties. I wouldn’t want to live anyplace else.
· Official website: Center for Architecture [CFA]