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Brick Home Melts in London

Friday, January 16, 2015

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Some things are destined to melt: Ice, butter, snow and hearts…but what about houses?

For one structure in London, that’s what happened. See, the two-story building was made of 8,000 wax bricks that slowly dripped and eventually left the roof on the ground in a pile of wax.

iIluminate Productions on Vimeo

Watch the home melt in this time-lapse video produced by the MERGE Festival.

No one actually lived in the structure on Southwark Street.

It was an art installation by Alex Chinneck, entitled “A Pound of Flesh for 50p.” The British artist is known for his illusions with the built form, remember this sliding facade?

Dripping Details

The recent project paid homage to an old candle-making factory which was based in Bankside a couple of centuries ago, according to project details.

The structure was built using bricks cast in paraffin wax in beds of terracotta sand, matching the color, coarse surface and irregularity of a real wall.

Chinneck and his team melted the home using handheld torches used in roofing applications to control the rate of dissolve.

The project was designed for the Merge Festival 2014.


Tagged categories: Aesthetics; Artists; Brick; Building facades; Color + Design; Design; Europe

Comment from Sarah Geary, (1/16/2015, 7:55 AM)

That's cool, but I believe we're watching it materialize rather than melt. Is the footage in reverse?

Comment from Michael Quaranta, (1/18/2015, 4:04 PM)

The art of building materials reporting has reached the absolute bottom level. They certainly did not provide anything sensible or meainingful for this technical publication. This article should have been on Meet-the-Press or Wheel of Fortune or on one of the buckets riding on the "EYE" in that city !!!

Comment from Mary Chollet, (1/19/2015, 7:23 AM)

Michael, thanks for giving us the opportunity to highlight our "Off the Wall" series, which runs on Fridays. These articles typically offer a look at the lighter or offbeat side of our industry. Enjoy!

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (1/20/2015, 8:55 AM)

I think an article on an art installation which comments on the ephemeral nature of most architechture is entirely appropriate, and appreciated.

Comment from Michael Quaranta, (1/20/2015, 6:47 PM)

Yes, I too appreciate a lighter side and I will be cautiously observing these postings on Fridays from now on. However, most of you may have missed my lighter side comment about riding in a bucket on the EYE in London (?). Now that's a lighter side ride !

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