Come Rule the Forest with “We Are Wild”
Come step into the story this summer at Cheekwood’s Storybook Houses! The young and young at heart will all enjoy these five large-scale outdoor playhouses inspired by beloved illustrators and brought to life through a collaborative effort of talented local architecture and building firms.
With a name like “We Are Wild”, you can certainly picture a playground filled with adventure, exploration, and imagination. Tuck-Hinton Architecture & Design brings that picture to life inspired by illustrator Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are) with a design that allows kids of all ages to truly be rulers of the forest.
Nestled off in the Carell Dogwood Garden underneath towering trees, this Storybook House offers a shady respite from the heat that also allows your creative forest explorers to play to their heart’s content.
BE RULER OF THE SEA
Come stand at the helm of this bright yellow sailboat as you adventurously steer into another imaginary world. Tuck Hinton architect, James Carroll, AIA explained, “the main idea of the playhouse is the boat, in which children can climb and play on, and in slightly further in the distance a super large scale Wild Thing, poking its head out of the ground and peering over at the boat. Due to the site being downhill and between large trees, the Wild Thing head is semi obscured from view when walking down the path, lurking in the distance, and only upon closer observation do you see the playfulness of it.” As the wind catches the leaves above and blows your hair around your face, you can just picture your life as a captain at sea!
BE RULER OF THE TREES
After sailing the seven seas, you can become a conqueror of the Wild Thing! With gorgeous grained wood, bumpy knotted rope, and golden glowing eyes, even the detailed textures of the house transport you to an entirely different world. Crawl through the triangular teeth like a true adventurer and inside the head find a shaded haven. Looking up and around as the sunlight fills the geodesic dome, experience what it is like to be inside where imagination actually happens.
Towards the back of the head, climb the knotted rope that serves as the hair of the Wild Thing all the way up to the top. Nestled between the two horns like a crown, you can sit on top of the head as the proper ruler of the forest, having successfully climbed what children have lovingly dubbed “Mount Monster”. Satisfy your child’s explorer heart with this courageous and adventuring playhouse, and encourage their creativity to expand into other fantastical worlds!
“We have climbed Mount Monster!”
Before & After:
A preliminary sketch from Tuck-Hinton Architecture & Design and the final constructed playhouse
The playhouse construction was in partnership with local contractor Solomon Builders, along with local artist Brian Somerville who fabricated the horns and nose of the Wild Thing.
Some other whimsical playhouses include “Oh, The Places You’ll Play” inspired by Dr. Seuss, “Hill Top Garden” inspired by Beatrix Potter, “Charlotte’s Barn” inspired by Garth Williams, and “TRAINS!” inspired by Loren Long. Storybook Houses opened on May 1st and will be on view throughout our gardens until September 1st. From June 22 through September 1, visitors may also enjoy Childhood Classics: 100 Years of Book Illustrations in the Museum Galleries.
Summertime at Cheekwood, Storybook Houses and Childhood Classics: 100 Years of Children’s Book Illustrations are presented by Vanderbilt Health. The TRAINS! exhibit and new depot feature are made possible by Jim Crossman. Additional support for Storybook Houses has been provided by Sara and Richard Bovender, Karyn McLaughlin Frist, Kailey and JR Hand, Sharalena and Dick Miller, and an anonymous donor.