Barbie’s Malibu dream house, now with solar panels

Nadine Bells
Shine from Yahoo! CanadaAugust 10, 2011

Since 1959, Barbie has dabbled in more than 120 careers.

With plans to launch her career in architecture this fall came a competition to redesign her famous pink dream house.

Now that Barbie’s an architect, shouldn’t she have a design-savvy, eco-friendly abode?

The AIA Barbie Dream House Competition challenged members of The American Institute of Architects to redesign Barbie’s mansion. The AIA panel selected five finalists from 30 submissions, with online voters choosing the winner.

New York-based Harvard grads Ting Li and Maja Pakler won for their pink floor-to-ceiling glass home.

The modern four-storey beach house — everyone knows Barbie’s dream house is in Malibu — boasts a rooftop garden, chef’s kitchen, spiral stairs, library, meditation room and home gym. Eco-chic touches include solar panels, bamboo flooring and locally sourced furniture.

[See also: Poland's thinnest house a tight squeeze]

And about that famous closet: “The stairs rise around a hollow tube, which becomes Barbie’s tower closet. Since Barbie is the original fashionista, she inevitably accumulated a large volume of enviable designer labels. This computer-controlled closet allows for the clothes to be displayed and visible from every angle of the house. It also makes dressing easy: she can select her outfit, push a button, and the outfit is delivered to her bedroom via the double helix moving rack.”

As the AIA winners concluded Barbie has swapped the pink Corvette for a pink Vespa, no parking garage or driveway mars the three-acre property overlooking the Pacific

[In photos: Archipod instant pod homes]

“We are very honoured to have been chosen by AIA and Mattel as a finalist and as the public favorite - Barbie was both of ours’ favourite doll growing up in China and Croatia. We appreciate the versatility of our profession which allows us to express ourselves in a myriad of ways - from entirely built city environments to a Barbie Dream House. We hope to encourage more young female architects to flex their design  muscles and just to have fun with architecture,” winners Li and Paklar said in a joint statement.

Total square footage of Barbie’s new dream house: 4,881. Estimated cost to build the home for yourself: $3.5 million. Mattel has no current plans to build the mansion for Barbie — or anyone else. Architect Barbie, part of Mattel’s “I Can Be” series, will hit shelves on Aug. 15.

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