For their very first date, photographer Nick Olson took designer Lilah Horwitz on a walk in the mountains of West Virginia. While chatting and getting to know each other during a particularly scenic sunset the two jokingly wondered what it would be like to live in a house where the entire facade was windows, so the sunset would never be contained within a small space. Where most people would file the idea away as a dream or maybe an item at the bottom of a bucket list, the newly minted couple were a bit more aggressive. Less than a year later the two quit their jobs and embarked on a road trip starting in Pennsylvania to collect dozens of windows from garage sales and antique dealers. A few weeks later they arrived in West Virginia and built the glass cabin in the exact same spot where they envisioned it on their fist date.
Filmmakers Matt Glass and Jordan Wayne Long of Half Cut Tea caught up with Horwirz and Olson to learn more about the construction of the building and their unusually strong commitment to following through with their artistic visions.
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.
I’m loving this series of simple, non-destructive interventions by artist Aakash Nihalani (previously) who is widely known for his observational street art involving neon-colored tape in various geometric forms. Nihalani opens a solo show starting January 12th, 2013 at Jonathan LeVine. (via arrested motion)