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5 slide-centric homes for when stairs just won't cut it

Michaelis residence

Photo: Richard Lewishon/Michaelis Boyd Associates

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Michaelis residence

Alex Michaelis of London-based architecture-firm Michaelis Boyd no doubt won the “Coolest Dad of the Year” award in 2005 when he designed a subterranean five-bedroom home for his family (including three active kids) that wasn’t just eco-friendly — green features include a solar panel-covered awning, geothermal heat pump and a heat-retaining green roof — but super kid-centric to boot. Michaelis’ remarkable home boasts a climbing wall, pint-sized indoor swimming pool, oversized beanbag chairs and last but not least, a short slide that runs next to a set of boring old stairs. We can’t help picture the home as being kind of like a pared-down, eco-modern version of the house from “Silver Spoons” minus the scale model freight train and arcade games. Although Michaelis has found success in designing other structures other than his own home, if he ever falls on hard times, we have four words of advice: birthday party rental space.