The beached houses – slug, carp, and ray – were designed for a site near the sea in Jamaica and are another exercise in biomorphic bilateralism. Although they are inspired by marine creatures rather than mammalians, they beg the same questions of symmetry and, in the case of the carp, of elevation. They differ from the Animal Houses in having much lighter frames and were intended to be built from small members with a light – and lightly stressed – metal skin. The houses engage the idea of representational motility via a somewhat more fluid – if mild – asymmetry and via the idea of the wiggle, an integral distortion of symmetry produced via respiration, motion, or some other life process. Thus, the tail of the ray is caught as it swings to swim, the carp begins to turn, the slug creeps along. The project called for three houses of each type and the site plan catches them in a net of palm trees.
Credits: Michael Sorkin, A. Englehart, K. Hikida, Photo: Seth Rubin.