Havel Ruck Projects -- the architectural-interventionist duo of Dan Havel and Dean Ruck -- have done it again, this time at 3705 Lyons.
Fifth Ward Jam, a temporary public sculpture, was dedicated today. It's a knockout, similar in many respects to Inversion, their 2005 project at the site of the now-demolished Art League Houston studios. But it will be around much longer -- probably about two years before succumbing to termites and the elements.
Here's a look at the altered bungalow from all sides and the one entry point. (The gospel quartet Endurance is singing on the stage; this intervention doubles as a sculpture and a performance space.)
From Lisa Gray's story :
The Fifth Ward is wildly different from arty, gentrifying Montrose. In the past decades, change has crept in, here and there - a new-ish apartment complex sits directly across Lyons Avenue from Jam - but the neighborhood remains much the same: mostly African American, mostly poor. Weedy lots and vacant houses are problems here; gentrification and whirlwind change are not.
Ruck and Havel scrounged much of the stuff they nailed onto the house. They reused much of the house's own pink siding. Other inch-thick bits of flotsam and jetsam came from the city's ReUse Warehouse, which recycles building material that would otherwise end up in a landfill.
But the big stuff they needed to create Jam - the money, house and real estate - came from official sources: the Houston Arts Alliance and the Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corp. "Dean and I were asked to 'revitalize the neighborhood,'" Havel said, staggering back and rolling his eyes: That's a lot to ask from a piece of art.
It certainly made for a lively gathering point this afternoon.