This floating mirrored pavilion in Flint, Michigan re-imagines an empty lot as a vibrant public space. Abandoned lots remain one of the primary signs of foreclosure in the city, which was once a hub of the American automotive industry - but the Flint Public Art Flat Lot competition has transformed at least one of the many empty spaces. Mark's House, the winning project by Two Islands studio, is a huge glimmering house silhouette that turns empty space into an inspiring cultural meeting point.
The London-based team won the $25,000 prize to create this temporary summer pavilion, inaugurated this year, with their imaginative and thoughtful idea. ‘Mark’s House’ was named after a fictitious local resident who lost his former home during the economic crisis. Building up into the air above the shelter, the work could be a comment on the rate of evictions and housing issues that have occurred throughout the crisis.
With a facade of reflective material, the “house” sits atop a mirrored pedestal to give the impression of being suspended over the lot below. As well as providing shade and shelter, the floating pavilion provided yet another summer surprise: misting water onto visitors below.
A central focus of the AIA Flat Lot Competition was to give the potentially dynamic public space a shelter. In a competition brief, organizers noted that the Flat Lot would become a new “symbol for the city” and an attraction for regional visitors. After a summer of reflected sunlight and a cooling haze, next year’s competitors have their work cut out for them to design something even more effective.
Images via Two Islands