Ice House Detroit

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“For the past couple of weeks Detroit has been buzzing about the Ice House, the abandoned house at 3926 McClellan that two Brooklyn, NY artists have encased in ice.

“Matthew Radune, an architect taking a break from his main profession to pursue dejaying and making art is a Connecticut native transplanted to New York. His cohort Gregory Holm is a native Detroiter who still owns a rental house in Hamtramck even though he now lives in New York.

“The two had a eureka moment when Matthew showed Gregory a photograph of a house engulfed in a frozen waterfall from a burst pipe. Wouldn’t it be cool to freeze a house on purpose as an art/architecture installation? And where better to do it than Detroit where abandoned houses seem as plentiful as stray dogs.”

— Donna Terek, The Detroit News

This weekend Ice House Detroit, a Kickstarter project successfully funded in December, made its debut. The project’s unique goal? To encase an abandoned Detroit home entirely in ice. The creators, architect Matthew Radune and photographer Gregory Holm, came up with the idea as a public art installation, and began the arduous process last month. The results are astounding:

Radune and Holm have been documenting the fascinating process on their blog — everything from getting the permits from Detroit officials to photographing the house as it was being frozen (they had to freeze and re-freeze and re-re-freeze it for the intended effect). And, in a nice surprise, many of the photos were taken by another Kickstarter creator: Sarah Sharp, who had a photography project earlier last year.

Once the house thaws, a crew will dismantle it and recycle its materials. The land itself will be turned into an urban farm.

It’s really a spectacular project, and one made triply so by the community involvement. Reading through the project’s blog, it’s amazing to see how many Detroiters embraced the mission and were struck by its beauty. The reaction is incredible.

It’s also worth watching the Detroit News’ video piece (top of the page) on the house, which is thoughtful, moving, and inspiring. What a wonderful job by Matthew, Gregory, their backers, and the Detroit community. Amazing stuff.

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