Design for a Cause: The Stargazer Reading Fort for Kids

We design and provide spaces for healing, comfort and beauty. It’s what we do every day for our clients, and it’s one of the reasons our work feels so rewarding. We might not be saving lives, but we’re certainly helping people live better. 

This time around, we had the opportunity to give back to our community and create a restorative, beautiful, and exciting space — for kids!


Camp Kindle is operated by the Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta. It offers a safe environment for children who are medically compromised, includes nurses and dietitians on staff, and is designed to help kids play and thrive.

In other words, it’s a place where kids get to be kids!

Carlos Soares (founder of Diving Flooring) started raising  funds for Camp Kindle after his own battle with cancer in 2000. As part of his latest endeavor, Barley & Smoke, Carlos sought out designers and builders in the area and invited them to create… reading forts at the camp!

Incredible cause? Friendly competition? Beer and BBQ? Yes, yes, and do you even have to ask?


We decided to theme our reading fort around the magic of stargazing. For the shape, we found inspiration in the way kids draw trees and mountains — triangles!

We picked a single triangle (or “A frame”) for the main fort area, then repeated the shape off one side of the structure to give homage to The Three Sisters.

Our co-conspirators, Unique Projects’ construction team and Cedar Shop product supply, generously donated their time and materials to help bring this design to life.

To emphasise the shapes, we contrasted black paint on the wood extensions and frame with the natural beauty of cedar.

If you’re wondering how we transported this heavy, metal and wood structure, it starts with a crane… Yes, we craned the fort onto a flatbed in Unique’s construction yard for its journey down Macleod Trail (thank you to our movers, Postech Screw Piles!), all the way to Enmax Park.

A successful build and transport thanks to these fine gents from Unique Projects.

With the fort planted on solid ground at Enmax Park for the event (to be transported the following day to Camp Kindle), we were ready to dress it up for the kiddos!

We wanted to balance comfortable and welcoming… and we couldn’t think of a better way to do that than with fuzzy carpet and a swing.

In case you’re wondering, yes, there is an amazing scent of cedar in here…

Kelly styled and fluffed the pillows. On the left, we have fun windows for stargazing!

We incorporated these orbs with moss and tinsel for a fun planet-esque vibe. Then we styled the exterior for an even softer, cosier vibe.

Of course, what stargazing fort is complete with the actual tools to stargaze? We donated this telescope to the camp, along with star maps and astronomy books — a great place for these kiddos to relax and explore the world.


The gang’s all here: Kelly, Lorissa, and yours truly!

The wonderful people who made it all happen.


If you’d like to give a little love to these deserving kiddos, this is a cause that is always open to donations. You can go here to give back!

‘Til next time,