Speaking as someone who built and moved into a custom home 10 months ago, I know from experience how challenging the work can be. My husband and I pretty much did the design work ourselves and spent every weekend last summer in the big-box stores searching for all the fixtures, faucets, handles and pulls we’d need. It was exhausting (and I was pregnant).

Like most others, we had our share of budget constraints. However, I was determined to find the best deals possible on some added glass features (i.e., glass tile for the master bath). Hard work and perseverance will pay off, is all I can say.

But think “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” and budgets are likely not a worry. Lucky for Barbie®, she’s made so many lucrative career choices she can not only be anything she wants, but pretty much have it all as well. So I’d say budget was no concern earlier this year when the American Institute of Architects (AIA) announced a contest to design a new Dream House for Barbie; it was announced as part of the AIA Show in New Orleans, where Mattel launched this year’s Architect Barbie®.

Designed with an eye toward sustainability, glass did indeed make its way into the structure. The winning design was submitted by Ting Li, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP and Maja Paklar, Assoc. AIA, who received the most public votes, out of the 8,470 votes registered in the AIA Architect Barbie® Dream House™ competition, according to the AIA.

The house has an overall glassy appearance and includes features such as solar panels on the roof and operable shading devices. Speaking of the home’s design, in a Chicago Tribune   interview the architects stated, “The glass walls have operable, perforated screens, sort of a second skin, that screen out the sun.”

The house, which is nearly 5,000 square feet, also features entertaining space and a chef’s open kitchen on the first floor, along with an office/library/meeting space. There is also a terrace on the second floor and the third and fourth floors are Barbie’s private enclave, her bedroom and her inspiration room respectively. The roof has a green house and a landscaped garden for her domestic pets.

In a joint statement, Li and Paklar say, “We are very honored to have been chosen by AIA and Mattel as a finalist and as the public favorite – Barbie was both of ours’ favorite doll growing up in China and Croatia. We appreciate the versatility of our profession which allows us to express ourselves in a myriad of ways – from entirely built city environments to a Barbie Dream House. We hope to encourage more young female architects to flex their design muscles and just to have fun with architecture.”

While the architects’ submissions including the winning design, will not be produced by Mattel, the creators of the winning design will have a $1,000 donation made in their name to CHAD, a charter high school in Philadelphia focused on architecture and design.

CLICK HERE to watch our Barbie® video coverage from the 2011 AIA Show.

CLICK HERE to read more about the winning design.