A Tiny House Made of Sand and Recycled Materials Lands in Times Square
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A Tiny House Made of Sand and Recycled Materials Lands in Times Square

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By Jennifer Pattison Tuohy
The 176-square-foot home by Fernando Mastrangelo, built entirely from reclaimed materials, warns against climate change.

Fernando Mastrangelo, the Brooklyn–based artist and sculptor known for his use of controversial and surprising materials—including cocaine, cremated ashes, and corn—has fashioned a tiny house out of sand and recycled materials. 

Recycled glass make up the house's walls. 

Recycled glass make up the house's walls. 

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Part of  NYCxDESIGN 2019, New York City’s annual celebration of design, Mastrangelo’s Tiny House project aims to show people another way to live through interactive and sensory immersion in a 176-square-foot home. 

Built entirely with reclaimed materials, including recycled glass and plastic, the minimalist footprint re-contextualizes the way secondhand materials are used and experienced, demonstrating the transition between functional and creative design. 

"As spaces begin to be experienced more and more virtually, the boundaries of our imaginations—as architects and designers—are no longer limited to what we can physically build," says Mastrangelo. "That’s where Tiny House comes in; a space where the future of design can be experienced in real life."

Nature is core to the Tiny House. Mountains decorate the exterior and a lush, native garden surrounds it.

Nature is core to the Tiny House. Mountains decorate the exterior and a lush, native garden surrounds it.

The environment and the challenges created for it by our current predilections for living in large spaces is a cause close to Mastrangelo's heart. "I make objects that are symbols of what’s most beautiful to me in nature, and that simultaneously make statements about the devastating state of affairs surrounding climate today," he told Surface Magazine in 2017

As part of the house's immersive experience, custom scents change character as you walk through, and the house uses DARWIN, a smart home system developed by Delos Living, to employ sensors, air filtration, water purification, and restorative lighting to support health, performance and wellbeing. "Visitors will have the chance to experience what all homes should feel like—a place that helps you feel happy and healthy," says Delos founder Paul Scialla.

Different textures and shapes inside the house give it a sense of depth.

Different textures and shapes inside the house give it a sense of depth.

The house will host multiple talks throughout the festival to showcase its features, and a dynamic LED wall emulating New York sunrises and sunsets will make it feel right at home among the bright city lights.

An oasis in the city: providing a moment of peace and tranquility in Times Square, Brook Landscape and Mastrangelo devised a courtyard garden that extends beyond the building.

An oasis in the city: providing a moment of peace and tranquility in Times Square, Brook Landscape and Mastrangelo devised a courtyard garden that extends beyond the building.

A Tiny House Made of Sand and Recycled Materials Lands in Times Square - Photo 5 of 5 -

The Tiny House is part of the Design Pavilion in Times Square and will be open through May 22, 2019 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. It is free and open to the public.

Related Reading:

Watch: Inside the Studio of Designer and Materials Master Fernando Mastrangelo

A LEGO-Like Home Powered Entirely by the Sun Pops Up in Times Square