A Suspended Wood Cabin Creates Extra Living Space in San Francisco

© Cesar Rubio

In dense urban centers, it can be hard to find extra space for people to live: there's just no room left. But artists Mark A. Reigelman II and Jenny Chapman have found an unlikely space to install a rustic, wooden cabin: on the side of a San Francisco building, three stories up and suspended above a restaurant.

© Cesar Rubio

The cabin is an art installation called Manifest Destiny! that addresses issues of homelessness and inequality in 21st century America. The title references the hopes of early West Coast settlers as well as the racism and imperialism implicit in the idea that white people were destined to dominate the American continent. By chance, the cabin, on the side of the Hotel des Arts, was located around the corner from the Occupy Wall Street protests.

The artists write:

Manifest Destiny! is about our God-given imperative as modern explorers, to seek out parcels of unclaimed territory and boldly establish a new home front in the remaining urban voids of San Francisco

Whether or not that imperative is God-given, finding ways to fit more people comfortably into cities is a good principle of urban design- even if the kids don't like it. Realistically, single unit cabins like this are not the way to do it, but the installation admirably provokes thought and discussion of the idea.

© Cesar Rubio

The cabin, 10 feet tall, 6 feet long and 7 feet deep, is made from wood reclaimed from a 100 year old Ohio barn. Its roof features a solar panel that powers the interior light at night. The cabin was attached to the building by structural engineer Paul Endres using custom steel 'L' brackets and concrete anchor bolts. It will be on view until October 28.

© Cesar Rubio

Tags: Green Building | San Francisco | Urban Life

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