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A Pound of Flesh-London-Wax House-Alex Chinneck-Melting-Kiki Stevenson-Merge Festival

Over the course of one year, artist Alex Chinneck built a “brick” house made entirely of wax, in partnership with a team of engineers, wax manufacturers and chemists. It was for an installation at the Merge Festival in London this month called “A Pound of Flesh for 50p.” The science behind it is to ensure that the building melts at a steady rate, turning into a regular old slouchy building.

The 8,000 bricks were cast in paraffin wax in beds of terracotta sand, in order to match “the colour, course surface, and irregularly of a real wall,” says the accompanying sign. At the end of the month all that should be left is the roof on a bed of melted wax. Just as fun, the site selection also has relevance: it is the former location of a candle-making factory from a couple hundred years ago in Bankside, London.

This is what the house looked like before the melting began at the beginning of the month:

A Pound of Flesh-London-Wax House-Alex Chinneck-Melting-Kiki Stevenson-Merge Festival-7Image via Fast Company

Here it was beginning its melting process:

A Pound of Flesh-London-Wax House-Alex Chinneck-Melting-Kiki Stevenson-Merge Festival-8Image via Fast Company

And here it was this morning:

A Pound of Flesh-London-Wax House-Alex Chinneck-Melting-Kiki Stevenson-Merge Festival-066

A Pound of Flesh-London-Wax House-Alex Chinneck-Melting-Kiki Stevenson-Merge Festival-004

A Pound of Flesh-London-Wax House-Alex Chinneck-Melting-Kiki Stevenson-Merge Festival-003

Chinneck has experimented a lot with breaking down our staid interpretation of housing, having previously installed a house whose facade was sliding off in Cliftonville (below), reversed house facades and more.

slipped-down-facade-house-margate-england-alex-chinneckAlex Chinneck’s installation in Cliftonville features a house with a sliding façade. Photo via Dezeen

For more facade fun, check out this tromp l’oeils in Paris showing a melting building, one of cardboard and more.

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