08 October 2009

Hydro Hydra

A few years back, the Butterfly House was built in England; the conceit being the structure represented the lifecycle of its eponymous insect. While the house as a whole isn't my cup of tea, some fanciful details do amuse me. A shaving brush, nearly lost in the tangle of supply lines, soap vials and gooseneck clamps that surround the bathroom sink, seems a bit like a helpless fly caught in a spiderweb. chetwood.co.uk


  1. Ah, England, legendary home of eccentrics. Where do you find these things? While the last "drought-stricken" sink by Pibamarmi in all its austerity looked as though it flowed according to the seasonal availability of water, this one looks as though aqua vitae flows here and there as required by the creature developing within the bathroom. To me, the shaving brush, which you were very clever to catch, looks like a dried morsel salted away inside the cocoon for purposes too mysterious to pursue. This house won lots of awards, it seems, though, sadly, the Royal Entomological Society overlooked it.

  2. Ha!

    The glass—or is it plexi?—island in the kitchen is an attention-getter, too.

    Remember Jersey Devil? This project puts me in mind of them.

  3. I just looked through the Jersey Devil site. Lots of fun stuff. It's as if they sometimes forget their meds, which can be interesting. However, the results are far more structural, infinitely more practical than the bizarrie of the butterfly house.

    I'd be very surprised if the kitchen island wasn't glass. Plexiglass would be too soft. It would mar and eventually cloud. Someone with a router and a glass bit was kept very busy. But it's not really a kitchen, and it's not really a house. It's an occupiable structure, but there the similarity ends.

    It reminds me of the Monsanto exhibit at Disneyland, oh so many years ago, where one plunged on conveyor cars deep within giant cells and molecules. But I don't think anyone spent the night there.

    In the Star Trek episode "The Cloud Minders" Spock is introduced to Droxine, daughter of Plasus, ruler of Ardana. Her father introduces her as a work of art, by which he probably meant beautiful. She was all that and more. She says politely, "I've never met a Vulcan," and Spock, never again quite so debonaire, replies, "And I have never met a work of art."

    It works because beauty and art are strongly linked. But it also depends on knowing that humans are producers of art, not examples of it. One can live, after a fashion, in a work of art, even if it somehow resembles an enormous butterfly, but one should know the difference between houses and works of art. Otherwise, one misses the joke.


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