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Abandoned Houses Reclaimed by Art

1) Life-Size Dollhouse

Canadian artist Heather Benning created this candy-colored, life-size dollhouse while she was an artist-in-residence in the small town of Redvers, Saskatchewan. She modified an abandoned farmhouse. The scale of the reclaimed farmhouse referencing the miniature toy abodes of childhood makes it a truly wondrous sight.

2) Frozen Detroit House

Ice House Detroit was created to call attention to the troubled urban conditions in the Michigan metropolis. Photographer Gregory Holm and architect Matthew Radune chose one out of 20,000 abandoned homes in Detroit and froze it, turning the crumbled structure into a crystallized marvel.

3) Crocheted Gas Station

The International Fiber Collaborative united artists who were concerned about our nation’s dependency on oil, so they started the World Reclamation Art Project (W.R.A.P.), which became known as the Gas Station Project. Imagine an abandon filling station wrapped in a snuggly, knit cozy.

4) Community Bucket List

After a friend passed away, artist Candy Chang tried to cope with the loss by creating a project that helped her maintain a perspective about life and death. She transformed an abandoned home in her New Orleans neighborhood into a giant chalkboard, asking people to complete the sentence, “Before I die I want to… ” Passersby could fill in the blanks and share their dreams.

5) Glowing House

Luisa Alvarez used her lighting design background to illuminate an abandoned house with old color negatives, gels, and LED lights, wrapped around discarded objects such as chairs, and installed along staircases and doorframes.

6) Inverted House

Dan Havel and Dean Ruck — who form the artist collaborative Havel Ruck Projects — took an abandoned home that was about to be torn down and repurposed the architectural framework for an explosive sculptural project. Inversion looked like someone shot a canon through the front door.


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