These Artists Built A See-Saw Home And Then Moved In


Alex Schweder and Ward Shelley are two artists who delve into the questions like how do we balance in our homes and what is the psychological impact of living inside a particular structure. They refer to their field of work as the “performance architecture”.

 

Image Source: Schweder & Shelley, Omi International Arts Center

 

The duo created a 360-degree spinning structure named ReActor that tilts and spins with the wind. The architects then moved into the tilting house, giving a literal definition to the phrase “artists in residence”!

 

Image Source: Schweder & Shelley, Omi International Arts Center

 

This Ghent, New York residence is just 44-feet by 8-feet house constructed using concrete and wood. ReActor rests atop a 15-feet tall column which enables it to rotate 360 degrees.

 

Image Source: Schweder & Shelley, Omi International Arts Center

 

The movement of the house is determined by the people moving inside it as well as the wind and the weather.

The Facebook post by the Omi International Arts Centre describes the experiences of the two designers who resided in the house. Both Schweder and Shelley maintained two separate journals documenting their experience aboard ReActor. They reckon the movement of the house is “oceanic” and quite graceful. 

 

Image Source: Schweder & Shelley, Omi International Arts Center

 

Here is what Ward Shelley had to say about the time the pair spent in the ReActor:

“We almost never stop drifting in circles. It takes only the slightest breeze to set us in motion.”

 

Image Source: Schweder & Shelley, Omi International Arts Center

 

Schweder is a fan of the changing view offered by the house:

“A view that is always changing, sleep that comes and goes with the sun’s light, and a sense of connectedness with your roommate through knowing what he is doing and feeling mediated by the building – in short, this building is breaking our habits.”

 

Image Source: Schweder & Shelley, Omi International Arts Center

 

The pair stayed in ReActor for five days. They had to be very conscious of how and where they stepped to maintain the perfect balance; sometimes, it also gave a sense of certain confinement as they had to adjust their level according to the balance of the house.

 

Image Source: Schweder & Shelley, Omi International Arts Center

 

The artists have left the spinning house for now and will return in September with further performances.

ReActor will remain in place for two years and to enthrall the visitors of the Omi International Arts Center’s Architecture Omi Field 01.