Collection by Michelle White

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.

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

The original orientation of the house at 6513 Sharpstown Drive in Houston.
Carroll getting ready for the rotation.
The artist’s neighbor surveys preparations.
In order to complete the turn, the structure had to be lifted off of the concrete slab foundation.
The hydraulic grid that controlled the jacks, which lifted the house up five feet to get it on the trailer for the move.
Carroll and architect Charles Renfro greet the spectators the morning of the rotation.
Under the supervision of Cherry Structural Movers, the house glides out of the narrow lot.
To make the rotation, the house had to make a three point turn in the street.
As the house moved down the street, there was a moment when the architecture completely disappeared from the view of...
A dedicated crowd watching the final moments of the rotation.
The house glides back into the lot.