International Sculpture Center
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Paul Raff

Strachan House: Common Ground

Wood, Concrete

The floors of this residence for the chronically homeless were engaged as the site of a permanent artwork. Developed in close cooperation with the architects, a fine timber formwork was built so that the concrete floor would itself be come a sculpture. The extremely subtle “cracks and slopes” made the otherwise institutional building feel more like an imaginary landscape. Colour was applied in varying layers to accentuate the effect. As well, artifacts from the street selected by residents of the original Street City were set in the concrete and then removed to leave fossil-like impressions: a first layer of the community’s history open for interpretation.