Mark’s House was the result of an international competition organized by the Flint Public Art Project and the AIA Flint Chapter. The design tells the story of an imagined Flint resident, Mark Hamilton, whose family loses a home to foreclosure; perching a Tudor-style house clad in reflective panels on top of a mirrored pedestal, giving the structure the appearance of floating in mid-air.
The house serves as a metaphor for both what the city has lost, as well as its ongoing revitalization, while also providing a canopy and stage for Flat Lot events. ‘Everyone loses something. A relative, a friend, a house, you can lose anything sometimes. So that gap that is created by lifting the house up is symbolic of that absence and that sense of abandonment. But it also represents shelter and what it means to have something hovering above you that means so much to you,’ William Villalobos from Two Islands said.The designers’ choice of dynamic cladding means it changes texture with the weather. Being a temporary pavilion in nature Mark’s House used a 5mm reflective Mylar layer for its cladding, strong and durable material that tends to change rapidly according to different weather conditions, the cladding will stretch on stormy days and wrinkle under hot sunny conditions. (The material’s hygroscopic properties cause it to stretch and wrinkle with varying humidity and water absorption). A local resident recounts the experience: ‘It slowly adds a
textural ruggosity to the house throughout the day, It’s really quite fascinating to watch”. During the night, The 882 personalised boxes that make up the ceiling light up to reveal pictures of local residents and supporters around the world. Two Islands received hundreds of pictures from those showing support, exhibit their creativity, and communicate the meaning of a place like home.’Mark’s House pedestal weighs over 4000 lbs and the structure has been designed to withstand 90 mph winds. The project benefited significantly from the contractor’s support: ‘they went above and beyond for this city’ Two Islands added. The pavilion looks to activate downtown with opportunities for new events, as Tomas Selva clarified: ‘it’s a small addition to the city’s great future prospects’.
ARCHITECT: Two Islands
, London, Madrid
LOCATION: Flint, Michigan
DESCRIPTION: pavilion / cultural
STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS: Nous Engineering (Los Angeles, CA)
ARCHITECT OF RECORD: Sedgwick & Ferweda Architects (Flint, Michigan)
CONTRACTOR: Sorensen & Gross Construction Services (Flint, Michigan)
DESIGN TEAM: William Villalobos, Cesc massanas, Tomas Selva, Scott Hook.