Architecture

House on a pole tilts and rotates with wind and wandering

House on a pole tilts and rota...
For those interested in checking out the ReActor in person, it's located in the Omi International Arts Center, in Ghent, New York
For those interested in checking out the ReActor in person, it's located in the Omi International Arts Center, in Ghent, New York
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ReActor measures 44 x 8 ft (13 x 2.4 m)
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ReActor measures 44 x 8 ft (13 x 2.4 m)
The home has real furniture, as opposed to props, which served the artists during their five-day residency
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The home has real furniture, as opposed to props, which served the artists during their five-day residency
Notable features include a foldaway kitchen and bathroom
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Notable features include a foldaway kitchen and bathroom
For those interested in checking out the ReActor in person, it's located in the Omi International Arts Center, in Ghent, New York
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For those interested in checking out the ReActor in person, it's located in the Omi International Arts Center, in Ghent, New York
Architectural drawing of the ReAct home
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Architectural drawing of the ReAct home
Architectural drawing of the ReAct home
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Architectural drawing of the ReAct home
Architectural drawing of the ReAct home
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Architectural drawing of the ReAct home
You might think that  living in a constantly moving house would be a bit disorienting, but the architects say that's not the case
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You might think that  living in a constantly moving house would be a bit disorienting, but the architects say that's not the case
The pair lived in the house full-time between 27 - 31 July, but plan to return again on September 24 - 25 and October 6-10
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The pair lived in the house full-time between 27 - 31 July, but plan to return again on September 24 - 25 and October 6-10

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 constantly moving house would be a bit disorienting, but the architects say that's not the case
You might think that  living in a constantly moving house would be a bit disorienting, but the architects say that's not the case

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.

Sources: Alex Schweder, Ward Shelley, Omi International Arts Center

10 comments
VincentWolf
That's an awful small shaft of cement for such a wide load. I guess their not planning on any wind huh?
MD
Pretty obvious how to design such a contraption... Not sure of many real world applications ... Axles, and many bearing (circular, linear and spherical) combinations are in current use all around the place..
unggitsastra
what i want to know is Why are they in some kind of 'Jail' attire?, really?, Orange?
GlassHalfEmpty
Who paid for this?
Paul Anthony
How do they get power in and sewage out?
flylowguy
The tilting part is somewhere over the line of comfort isn't it?
kidsandliz
They said, "gentle wind". Obviously not meant for parts of this country then. I'd hate to be in that in a high wind... or imagine as a tornado blows by or in a hurricane.
Douglas Bennett Rogers
This is almost an anti-earthquake house. Support point needs to be at top. Needs some form of damping. Column needs to telescope. Needs a moving reaction mass.
Caroline_Seward
I have visited this exquisite work of art, and have to say that it's absolutely beautiful. It moves very slowly in the wind and is breathtaking, especially located at the top of the field it's featured in. Its a shame to read some negative comments below. I have to assume that you are all jealous that you didn't create such a masterpiece :) I applaud these artists. Congratulations & thank you!
David Mott
The two end balconies are perfect for vomiting during a spin cycle.