In the late 1980s American artist Peter Erskine began to incorporate sunlight into his artistic practice through the use of strategically placed laser-cut prisms in both modern and historical sites. A hybrid of both art and architecture, he explores the way light falls on varying surfaces and brings new meaning to existing places. Erskine says the intent of his light installations is to use “the emotional impact of art to address the full range of nature from its most elemental expression as pure light to its most complex expression as global ecology.” You can explore more of his work with light over the last 30 years on his website. (via Arpeggia)
As the story goes, the original owner of this unwieldy building located in Willow, Alaska built his house shortly after a forest fire with a clear view of Mount McKinley and Denali National Park. As the surrounding trees recovered, the pristine view was obscured and the owner decided to add few more stories, eventually spending a decade adding floors until it reached the 12-ish story tower you see today. Not surprisingly, locals refer to the building as the “Dr. Seuss House” as the design so closely mimics structures you might see in Theodor Geisel’s illustrated storybooks.
While the tower sat abandoned for a while, the Dr. Seuss house apparently has a new owner who is currently working on renovations. Photographer Jovell Rennie and Alaska Aerial Footage recently stopped by to capture some of the images and video you see here. (via Jeroen Apers, Unusual Places)
German graphic artist Matthias Jung creates collages of fictional structures that seemingly turn the logic of architecture upside down. Buildings sprout mountains populated by livestock, homes hover in mid-air, and contrasting architectural styles are fused together in strangely harmonious ways like something straight out of a Terry Gilliam movie. You can see more of Jung’s work on his website where he also has a number of prints available. (via iGNANT)
Created by Swiss artist Romain Crelier, La Mise en Abîme (an idiom that communicates the same thing as “a curveball,” but means, roughly, “to have put into an abyss”) was a visually arresting artwork installed on the floor of the Bellelay Abbey in Switzerland back in 2013. The piece is comprised of two shallow pools of used motor oil that function as mirrors, reflecting the architectural details of the surrounding interior. The crude juxtaposition of recycled oil and the impeccably preserved aesthetic of a 12th century church wasn’t lost on the artist who referred to the piece as “monochrome paintings using a despised substance.” You can see more photos on We Find Wildness. (via We Find Wildness, This Isn’t Happiness, thnx Kathy!)
A potted forest of trees and branching steel beams disguise this 5-story apartment building in Turin, Italy. Designed by Luciano Pia, 25 Verde brings plants up off the ground in an attempt to evade Turin’s homogeneous urban scene and integrate life into the facade of the residential building.
The undulating structure creates a transition from outdoors to in, holding 150 trees that absorb close to 200,000 liters of carbon dioxide an hour. This natural absorption brings pollution protection to its residents, helping to eliminate harmful gasses caused by cars and harsh sounds from the bustling streets outside. The trees’ seasonal progression also creates the ideal microclimate inside the building, steadying temperature extremes during the cold and warmer months. The plants’ full foliage block rays of sun during the summer while letting in warm light during the winter.
The building holds 63 units, each benefiting from the terraces and vegetation just beyond their windows and walls. Each species of plant has been chosen purposefully from deciduous plant life in Turin to provide the highest variety of color, foliage, and blooming. This innovative design provides a childlike dream while also instilling real world benefits to those who live in this urban treehouse. (via Divisare)
Appearing as an oversized red barn, architecture and design studio dRMM‘s Sliding House has a much more complex facade than its doppleganger’s A-frame design. The project encompasses three separate buildings (house, garage, and guest annex), and was built with the intention for the owners to grow food, entertain, and enjoy the landscape from the structure. Each segment of the Suffolk, England property is connected by a 20 ton, motor-driven enclosure which slides up and down the buildings to create constantly changing coverage for the home, and exposes open-air living areas.
An escape from static architecture, the house gives its inhabitants endless options for living comfortably and freely during each season. There is even the option to extend the roofing system beyond its current length to cover a swimming pool if the owners want to add one down the line.
The innovative residential project was completed in 2009, and was the 2009 winner of the Royal Institute of British Architects East Award, and winner of “Best New-Build” and “Home of the Year” at the 2009 Grand Designs Awards. (via The Gasoline Station, Design Milk)
Polish watercolor artist Maja Wronska continues to paint explosively colorful depictions of European architecture, most recently in Poznań, Poland. Wronska is an architect herself, a skill that greatly enhances her artwork. She first renders each piece as a detailed drawing and then adds layers of watercolor, an unpredictable medium that can be difficult to control, making her paintings all the more incredible. You can see much more over on Behance, and several of these are currently available as prints.