Anna Freud's Toddler Hut
Year 3 I External Project Client: Freud Museum London
The transition of the Anna Freud centre to a new location has lead to 21 Maresfield Gardens being sold, and the Toddler Hut in the process of demolition. Freud Museum commissioned us, to create a replica of the Toddler Hut to commemorate the building’s significant importance in history. As a group, we have a developed a Doll House version which now resides in the Freud Museum, in Anna Freud’s old room. The Doll house features the original spatial arrangement of the Observation, Play and utilities spaces as well as the furniture pieces. The Doll house also incorporates the different users that would normally participate inside the Toddler Hut, the observers which include the psychologists (as teachers) and their students and the observees, the parents and children.
The wooden house was designed by Ernst Freud, Anna Freud’s architect brother as a ‘Nursery School for Blind Children’ at the Hampstead Child-Therapy Course and Clinic.The Nursery School was the project of Dorothy Tiffany Burlingham and provided a day nursery school for blind children aged 3 - 6 years, from 1958 until about 1976. Much of the Montessori-style furniture and many of the toys in the house came from Anna Freud’s ‘Jackson Nursery’ in Vienna. When the Nursery School for Blind Children closed, the ‘Mothers and Toddlers group’ created by Joyce Robertson, moved from 12 Maresfield Gardens into the wooden house in the garden of 21 Maresfield Gardens. Renamed the ‘Parent - Toddler Groups’, these therapeutic playgroups still meet regularly in the wooden house.
There is a large range of toys in the hut for children, some for fun and education, others for role play that allow children to pretend to be like adults, for example, the small kitchen and till.
The furniture and equipment are unusually unique due to their small scale. In the hut, there is also equipment for adults to allow them to study the children, keep them safe, look after them and educate them through play.
Documented measurements of the original children's toddler hut prior to demolition.
Replica of the Toddler Hut to commemorate the building’s significance. As a group, we have created a 1:20 scale replica of the original structure, which is exhibited in the Freud Museum, in Anna Freud’s bedroom.