Like a mountain chapel or Thoreau’s one-room cabin, Solarium references a tradition of isolated outposts designed for reflection. Each of the 162 panels is made of sugar cooked to different temperatures and then sealed between two panes of window glass. The space functions as both an experimental greenhouse, growing three species of miniature citrus trees, and a meditative environment. In warm months, a 5×8 ft panel on each side of the house opens up to allow viewers to enter and exit the house from all directions. In addition to creating a pavilion like environment, this design references the architecture of a plant leaf, where the stomata opens and closes to help regulate the plants temperature.
Lamson spent weeks testing methods for building the windows and you can watch his process in the video above by Kate Barker-Froyland. See many more views of the building here. All imagery courtesy the artist. (via architizer)
Update: Solarium was deinstalled at the end of 2012 and is no longer on view.