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House, Rotated: Prototype 180

On November 11, 2010, New York artist Mary Ellen Carroll rotated a single-family home in Houston’s aging first-ring suburb, Sharpstown, a neighborhood characterized by rows of post-WWII dwellings. Lifted from the foundation, the 1,400-square-foot house was turned 180 degrees, so the front facade now faces the backyard. The complex physical and metaphorical gesture, of suburban structural inversion in a city with a lack of land-use policy, is a call for the reconsideration of how we live. After the catalytic moment, the retrofitted home, called Prototype 180, will be maintained as a place to study itself, and the surrounding area.

The original orientation of the house at 6513 Sharpstown Drive in Houston. With a group of art collectors and architects, Carroll formed an LLC to purchase the property in 2007. Because of the city’s extremely liberal land-use ordinances she says that Houston selected itself for the location for prototype.

To see images of the project, please visit the slideshow.

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