News & Insights

Kimley-Horn Recaptures Childhood Magic with Design for Dallas Nonprofit’s 2022 Parade of Playhouses

Parade of Playhouses 2022

Kimley-Horn is back again this year with an innovative and fun “Play-Go” house for Dallas Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)’s Parade of Playhouses. Inspired by childhood imagination, the 2022 playhouse design features brightly colored, life-size Legos arranged into a structure that promotes climbing and interaction. This design will not only provide a play space for children, but its raffle proceeds and awareness will also benefit Dallas CASA and its mission to empower children during their most vulnerable times.

For two previous playhouse designs, Kimley-Horn’s team of landscape architects emphasized themes about nature. In 2021, the Kimley-Horn team worked with Balfour Beatty and Woodhaus, Inc. to create a playhouse inspired by the unique layers of the Guadalupe Mountains. This theme of outdoor beauty was also echoed in the 2020 design with partners Balfour Beatty, Harmon, and Brightview called “Harvest House,” a playhouse that highlighted modern design features, sustainability, and gardening.

Parade of Playhouses
Parade of Playhouses

The Design Process

To create this year’s design, Jonathan Campbell and the Kimley-Horn team took a trip down memory lane and revisited their favorite childhood toys—Lincoln Logs, K’NEX, and Barrel of Monkeys—before realizing that every team member had nostalgic memories of Legos. However, the team decided not to construct a playhouse with regular size Legos. Instead, they chose to supersize the pieces for maximum engagement and a unique climbing design.

In partnership with regional contractor Hill & Wilkinson, the Kimley-Horn team—with lead Jonathan Campbell as well as Nik Adams, Marie Robirds, Samantha Eaton, Sara Von Borstel, Keaton Brock, Addison Dunbar, and Ben Greiner—devised the “Play-Go” house. They made sure to follow dimension requirements and create life-size Legos with internal frames for weight support. The Legos were also sized with a child’s perspective, playfulness, and capabilities in mind.

After building their fourth playhouse for the Parade of Playhouses, the Kimley-Horn team knows the impact of their designs and hopes to continue supporting children’s futures through the mission of Dallas CASA.

“We are supporting kids in need in our area with the awareness and funds raised by this parade; Dallas CASA says it is by far its biggest event every year where it gets much-needed volunteers. It is awesome to create this cool thing that children can physically play with while also supporting them in times of need, and this year’s design aimed to bring out the kid in everybody.”

More about the Parade of Playhouses

The final playhouse is on display in Dallas’ NorthPark Center from July 15-July 31, and participants in-person and online can purchase raffle tickets to try to win the playhouses and support Dallas CASA. If you would like to participate in the Parade of Playhouses, you can view the playhouses online and purchase tickets here.


Get in touch with our Landscape Architects.