Victorian building design outfit Archsign is one of five shortlisted building and architectural firms remaining in the 2016 Kids Under Cover Cubby House Challenge (CHC) which has also attracted entries from the likes of Grocon and Fairhaven.

The CHC is organised by youth homelessness prevention charity, Kids Under Cover and engaged builders and designers across the nation design their dream cubby houses. The shortlisted firms will now build their cubby houses in time for the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, March 2016 where they will be assessed and awarded, before being auctioned off to support the work of Kids Under Cover.

After receiving expressions of interest from across the country, Kids Under Cover selected Archsign for their cubby house design, Duplay; Fairhaven Homes for Fun House; Grocon for Cube-y House; Hartman Homes for Plyground; and Porter Davis for the Relic.

The cubby houses will be evaluated by a judging panel that includes architect Peter Maddison, host of Grand Designs Australia who acknowledges that the toughest critics to please are kids themselves. Though he is happy to be assessing the work of designers, architects and builders, he is aware the final vote of approval comes from the kids themselves, which can be a rewarding as well as a humbling experience.

The awards for the Cubby House Challenge include the Best Architectural Award and the all-important People’s Choice Award, which is decided by visitors to the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show.

Jo Swift, Chief Executive of Kids Under Cover said the organisation was hoping to attract a wide range of bidders who will purchase the cubbies, with all proceeds going towards initiatives to prevent youth homelessness. Observing that the cubbies are always a major drawcard at the Flower and Garden Show, she added that they have a goal this year to raise $125,000, which will be directly invested into preventing youth homelessness, through scholarships and mentoring as well as the building of studios to accommodate at-risk young people.