Copenhagen's Green 'Glass' House Hits the Road

tom fruin kolonihavehus plexiglass house photo

The Kolonihavehus and the "Mobility of Avoidance" performance, Copenhagen 2010. Photo: Søren A. Olse / CoreAct.

After adding a splash of vivid color to the dark winter streets of Copenhagen, artist Tom Fruin's "Kolonihavehus" -- a cottage made of patchwork squares of recycled plexiglass -- is hitting the road, serving (with a little help from sound and light artists) as the ever-changing backdrop to the show put on by a Danish performance group.The New York-based artist's outdoor sculpture installation, previously displayed at the Royal Danish Library, is a mosaic of a thousand pieces of reclaimed plexiglass found in dumpsters around the city, according to the pop culture blog Lost at E Minor. When the CoreAct performance group is not using it as part of their stage set, the "independent world of sound and light" created by a Portuguese lighting designer and a Danish sound artist "respond[s] to the movements of the passers-by... The house therefore stands as a colorful and ever-changing surprise in the well-known streets of the city."

Small Escapes For City Dwellers
While Fruin's Kolonihavehus appears to be more of an artistic statement than an environmental one, its inspiration is a green tradition that other cities would do well to emulate.

According to the official website of Denmark, a "kolonihave" is "a small garden on the outskirts of the densely populated city," found throughout the country, and a "kolonihavehus" is the small house on the garden property, a place frazzled city-dwellers can use as "a breathing space -- a place where [they] can escape from the city and relax in green surroundings."

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