news, project, residency CLOUD HOUSE by Matthew Mazzotta

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RAIN ON A TIN ROOF WHEN SITTING IN THE ROCKING CHAIRS

CLOUD HOUSE is a unique rain harvesting system that creatively reuses the rainwater it collects to provide a deeper look into the natural systems that give us the food we eat.

How does it Work?

On rainy days, a gutter system collects rain that hits the roof and directs it to storage tank underneath the house. Sitting in the rocking chairs triggers a pump that brings the collected rainwater up into the ‘cloud’ to drop onto the roof, producing that warm pleasant sound of rain on a tin roof. At the same time, rainwater drops from the tops of the windows onto the edible plants growing in the windowsills. Designed to collect and store rainwater for the ‘cloud’ to rain, this display of the water-cycle illustrates our fragile dependence on the natural systems that grow the food we eat, and at points throughout the year when there is low rainfall, the ‘cloud’ will not rain on the roof because it is simply out of water. CLOUD HOUSE is clad with barn wood and tin reclaimed from a nearby abandoned farm by group of Amish builders. With rocking chairs on a barn wood floor, the sound of rain on a tin roof, and rain drops bringing the necessary elements for plants growing in the window sills, the look and feel of CLOUD HOUSE is the epitome of a rural farm experience from simpler times, and creates a space to reflect on the natural processes of food production. Located at Springfield, MO’s largest farmers market, CLOUD HOUSE is a poetic counterpoint to the well-attended market and offers a meditative moment to slow down, enjoy the fresh edible plants, and listen to rain on a tin roof.

For years, grocery stores have provided food that relies on large agro-conglomerates with unsustainable farming practices, international food distributors, and chemical companies. Many people have demanded that we have another relationship with our food that focuses on personal health, the health of the planet, and supporting local community. Farmer’s markets, like the one at Farmers Park, give the option to know by whom and how our food is made. However, the changing climate has brought a new threat of increased instability to our food systems by creating unpredictable weather patterns, which we are seeing as more drought in some locations and more floods in other locations. This makes it harder and harder to grow food. It is becoming increasingly important that we have a clear understanding of how closely we are tied to ecological systems like the water cycle. CLOUD HOUSE offers a moment to sit in a rocking chair and listen to the rain on the tin roof to reflect upon the fragile dance we are in with nature and our own survival.Matthew Mazzotta

PROJECT TEAM
Matt O’Reilly at Green Circle Projects – Developer | Patricia Lea Watts – Project Manager | Jeff Broekhoven – Artistic Advising | Sujin Lim – Cloud Design | Ben Jennings -Structural Engineer | Sue Evans and Kenny Underwood at Elemoose – Cloud Construction | Omar Galal and John Walker at Rain Reserve -Water System | Aaron Sampson at SamCo Construction LLC – Barn Wood Siding and Tin Roof Steve | Wilson at Wilson Creek Rustic Furniture – ootings/Piers | Richard Thompson at CHR Metals – Steel Framing | Bryan Simmons at A Cut Above – Landscaping Jeff Shelton Outdoor Lawn Service, Gravel | Pam Bachus at Picky Sisters, Rocking Chairs and Table | Tim Hawley – Photography


Matthew Mazzotta has completed over a dozen of major public art and design-build projects as well as artist residencies in the U.S., Europe, and Asia with upcoming projects in the Middle East. His work is conceptual in nature, resulting in permanent and temporary public interventions that range from the creation of new social spaces in communities to addressing more pressing environmental issues, but always with a focus on place and public participation. He is the recipient of a full-tuition scholarship and graduated from MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning with a Master of Science in Visual Studies in 2009. Matthew Mazzotta received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Matthew Mazzotta

Matthew Mazzotta developed the idea for CLOUD HOUSE during a two-month, on-site artist-inresidence at Farmers Park, a program of Green Circle Projects. Farmers Park was incorporated as a neighborhood of Springfield, Missouri, adhering to the green building standards of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).

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