No one can cantilever a house quite like an engineer - unless it’s an artist with a vision. Do Ho Suh, a Korean-born and Rhode Island School of Design-trained artist, has added his own off-kilter vision to the campus of the University of California, San Diego. It just happens to be hanging over the side of the Engineering building, seven stories up.
Fallen Star is the 18th piece in a series of permanent public art installations of the Stuart Collection at UCSD. Through donations, the Collection foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, the project was conceived, designed, installed, furnished and landscaped around the artist’s singular vision. The little house, modeled after one Suh knew back in Rhode Island, is mini – but it’s fully furnished with a cozy interior, and landscaped with a flourishing roof (front yard?) garden.
The house is a bit like the old Mystery Spot further north in Santa Cruz: it can give you a touch of vertigo, and not just from the height. It’s filled with odd angles and off-kilter walls, windows, and doors. Nothing is level, nothing is plumb. Not necessarily enough to notice at first, but spend a little time in the little blue house that looks like it fell from the sky, and you might start to feel a little weak in the knees.
Know Before You Go
Fallen Star is free and open to the public on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. It sits atop Jacobs Hall, at the end of Engineer Lane (off Voigt Drive). Come in through the main entrance and take the elevator to the 7th floor to reach the rooftop garden and little blue house.