REUTERS

OK, who dropped acid into England's water supply?

Britons strolling past 1-7 Ashwin Street this week are no doubt getting the heaving heebie-jeebies from an other-dimensional house squatting on a formerly vacant lot. The domicile sports a normal Victorian facade; the only trouble is it appears to be a super-strong magnet for flesh, with people scurrying up and down its facade like round-headed chimps.

Did somebody drop acid into London's water supply? No need to grab your "go bags," holders of physics Ph.Ds: This mind-warping house is only an illusion created by Argentina's Leandro Erlich. The artist has positioned a fake exterior horizontally on the ground and propped a huge mirror above it at a 45 degree angle. Pedestrians seeking a bit of fun can plod across the facade to make it look like they're wearing Velcro shoes, or pretend to dangle from windowsills like the kitten on that iconic motivational poster.

The Barbican Art Gallery was responsible for commissioning Erlich's so-called "Dalston House." Sited on the ruins of an old home the Germans bombed during World War II, the artwork is meant to "resemble the houses that previously stood on the block," writes the gallery, and will serve as the site for upcoming talks and performances about architecture, urbanism and perception. It's all part of a "Beyond Barbican" blast going on this summer, which also includes an appearance by Irish supergroup "The Gloaming" and a fairylike theater show with puppets inside a bank.

A few more views of the topsy-turvy rowhouse:

Last year, Erlich erected a similar wacko-house in Paris, called In Perceptions. He's also designed an absurd swimming pool that people can stroll across, a la Jesus, which has shown at PS1 in Queens and elsewhere. Here's what that looks like:

Photos via Luke MacGregor/Reuters

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Maggie Gyllenhaal walks the mean streets of 1971 New York City in HBO's "The Deuce," created by David Simon.
    Life

    David Simon Does Not Miss the Sleaziness

    The creator of HBO’s “The Deuce” talks about the rebirth of Times Square, other cities he loves, and why bureaucrats can be TV heroes, too.

  2. Equity

    The Side Pittsburgh Doesn't Want You to See

    Pittsburgh filmmaker Chris Ivey has spent over twelve years documenting the lives of the people displaced so that the city can achieve its “cool” status.  

  3. Construction workers build affordable housing units.
    Equity

    Why Is 'Affordable' Housing So Expensive to Build?

    As costs keep rising, it’s becoming harder and harder for governments to subsidize projects like they’ve done in the past.

  4. Transportation

    If You Drive Less Than 10,000 Miles a Year, You Probably Shouldn't Own a Car

    Up to one-quarter of all U.S. drivers might be better off using ride-sharing services instead.

  5. Maps

    Mapping Where Europe's Population Is Moving, Aging, and Finding Work

    Younger people are fleeing rural areas, migrating northward, and having fewer children. Here’s how that’s changing the region.