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Cambridge, United States


Born in Alabama, Jennifer Bonner founded MALL a creative practice for art and architecture in 2009. MALL stands for Mass Architectural Loopty Loops or Maximum Arches with Limited Liability—an acronym with built-in flexibility. By engaging “ordinary architecture” such as gable roofs and everyday materials, Bonner playfully reimagines architecture in her field. Her work has received an AR Award for Emerging Architecture (Architectural Review), an Emerging Voices Award (AIA/ Young Architects Forum) and has been published in Architect Magazinea+tDAMnPLATOfframp, and MAS Context. She is the founder of A Guide to the Dirty South, editor of Platform: Still Life, and guest editor of the ART PAPERS special issue on architecture and design of Los Angeles.

Jennifer Bonner is currently Assistant Professor of Architecture and Director of the Master in Architecture II Program at Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

CAB 2 Contribution

Project Overview

The dollhaus

The dollhaus is modeled after MALL’s Haus Gables: a private residence located in Atlanta, Georgia. Both projects form part of MALL’s ongoing speculation around the typological study of roof forms: ridges, valleys, gables, hips, and dormers. These roof elements, when combined, produce stylistic formal languages that speak to particular historical periods or geographical regions. The roof is one of the distinctive elements of ordinary architecture; because of this, it is not often seriously studied in our field and indeed the roof even came under attack when the International Style flattened it into a terrace. For MALL it is precisely this undervalued aspect of the roof that makes it an accessible object of study and reinvention. The dollhaus, much like the suburban tract home, is an ordinary architecture; filled with humor and the idiosyncratic, it has the capacity to call our attention to past memories and spatial relationships. There is a pluralism at work in this study as well, amidst the project’s intended banality is a common language for connecting different demographics.

The City is the Site