Diller + Scofidio

The Slow House, 1991

Designed for a site overlooking Noyak Bay (North Haven, Long Island), this second home for a private collector is a continuum that the “visitor” crosses through, from a door towards a window; from a  physical entry – which is accessed by car following a curve – to an optical departure. The building is the staging of an optical phenomenon: it appears as a cone of vision, where the traditional frontal façade has been reduced to the width of the front door. This door opens onto the interior and a series of bedrooms and bath rooms on the left, moving on to the kitchen and the living and dining rooms on the right. As the visitor progresses through the house, it widens out, ending at a large picture window overlooking the bay, which was also designed to be a representation: the window is a new screen projecting a desired but never possessed object. In the project model, this progression is interrupted at regular intervals by sheets of glass that show in the form of negative exposures the programmatic functions of the spaces, like a series of film sequences. Finally, placed at the far end of the house, a camera films the maritime landscape, delaying the broadcast of these images onto a television screen inside, and thereby creating a lag between the landscape seen from the window and the one on the screen. Perception fluctuates between reality and fiction. Unfortunately, the client went bankrupt forcing the construction work to be halted.

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