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July 13, 2012 11:00 AM UC San Diego’s Unusual New Sculpture

By Daniel Luzer

FromTheGround

The University of California at San Diego has a new art installation. Or maybe it’s a residence, or perhaps a new wing to the engineering building.

According to a piece issued by UCSD:

“Fallen Star” is hard to miss. The 18th addition to the renowned collection of site-specific sculptures at UC San Diego is in a central campus location. It sits atop Jacobs Hall, also known as Engineering Building 1 - cantilevered at an angle from a corner of the seventh floor.
The house was built during the fall of 2011. On Nov. 15, it was gently hoisted 100 feet and then attached to Jacobs Hall.

It’s apparently a three-quarter-sized version of an existing cottage in Providence, Rhode Island. Sitting atop the engineering building, it’s fairly disconcerting, almost as if an airplane dropped a small East Coast house, fully furnished and complete with a strip of front law, on top of an existing clement building.

The university assures visitors and members of the UCSD that,

while the house itself is built at a different 10-degree angle. “Fallen Star” conforms to California earthquake building codes and was built to withstand 100 mph winds. Its foundation is 18 inches thick, compared to the usual 4 inches.

The artist, Korean-born Do Ho Suh said that he first thought of the idea when he came to the United States in 1991 to study at the Rhode Island School of Design, also in Providence. He said he felt “as if he was dropped from the sky.”

The strange house is part of the UC San Diego’s Stuart Collection and is supported by private donations and a $90,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

UCSDHouse

There’s a Republican politician or higher education critic somewhere who’s really going to enjoy ridiculing this one… [Images via]

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer

Comments

  • David Martin on July 15, 2012 4:23 PM:

    Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss) was a major donor to UCSD, so the library's named for him. I think he might appreciate this new artwork.