Architectural artists Alex Schweder and Ward Shelley are no strangers to living in unusual digs, but their latest work breaks the mold. Perched atop a 15 ft (4.5 m)-tall concrete column, ReActor is a house/art installation that tilts and rotates a full 360 degrees, its movement a response to the wind and the weight distribution of the occupants. The duo is living in it for up to five days at a time.
Schweder and Shelley designed the project as part of their ongoing interest in "social relationship architecture," exploring how constructed environments affect relationship dynamics and vice versa.
ReActor measures 44 x 8 ft (13 x 2.4 m). The furniture inside includes a foldaway kitchen and bathroom, propane stove, ice box, shower, chemical toilet, a pair of beds, shelving and storage, and comfortable chairs.
The artists didn't want to let slip too many details of how the home moves, but the process involves an axle and bearings within the column.
You might think that living in a house that's constantly rotating and tilting might lead to discomfort or even motion sickness, but that's not the case. "The movement is really gentle and never woke us," Schweder told New Atlas. "In fact it was a bit like being rocked. The only time the movement was a challenge was when we were trying to stay out of the sun."
The pair lived in the house full-time for a duration of five days, between July 27 - 31, but plan to return again on September 24 - 25 and October 6 - 10.
For those interested in checking it out in person, ReActor is currently installed in the Omi International Arts Center, in Ghent, New York. The project is part of the Architecture Omi program and an exhibition called Wood: From Structure to Enclosure, that also includes works by Steven Holl Architects, Alice Aycock, and others.
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