Take a seat in one of two rocking chairs in an open shed under a permanent cloud in Farmer’s Park in Springfield, Missouri. Soon the rain will start to fall on the corrugated metal roof. Stay seated and watch the “rain water” drip down inside open window cutouts on the two side walls and fall into plant trays. This fanciful structure, called Cloud House, was designed by artist and MIT graduate Matthew Mazzotta, reports Dezeen.
In addition to the zen-like tranquility of rocking in the rain, the Cloud House installation underscores themes of reclamation and recycling. Mazzotta built the shed using reclaimed wood for cladding. A group of Amish builders salvaged the wood from an abandoned local farm.
The permanent cloud-like structure above the shed is constructed from seventeen joined pieces of EPS foam that were seamed and hardened with resin. The foam was shaped with a robotic seven-axis arm. The cloud is supported by a pipe connected to other pipes in the shed wall. Water in an underground tank pumps up through one of the walls when activated by someone sitting in a chairs on the pressure-sensitive flooring. The water travels up through the pipe and into the resin cloud. It then falls back down through tiny holes in the cloud and hits the roof.
“Any water that hits the roof — from either natural rain from the sky or rain that has been harvested into the storage tank and then brought back up to the cloud again — will be collected in the gutters hidden in the eaves of the roof,” Mazzotta told Dezeen.
The rain water drips or flows down from the gutters through hidden pipes. It is then released at the top of the window lintels to fall into planters sitting on the sills. The water in the planters drains back down into the storage tank to start the journey all over again.
According to Dezeen, the tank is not refilled during dry spells by rain or human assistance. In this way, the installation is reflective of its environment.