Topsy-Turvy Terrace: Fun Times at the Barbican’s Dalston House

Ever wanted to scale the wall of a late Victorian terraced house? Perhaps not, but that doesn’t stop the Barbican’s new installation, Dalston House, being all heaps of fun.

The project was commissioned to coincide with the 2013 London Festival of Architecture and in association with OTO Projects. The creator of this grand illusion is the artist Leandro Erlich, whose work incorporates audience interaction and the distortion or subversion of spatial reality.

Dalston House was constructed on a vacant lot at 1-7 Ashwin Street, a former Second World War bomb site. Visitors to Dalston House can scale the walls without leaving the ground, thanks to an optical illusion created by a carefully-positioned wall of mirrors.

The construction is an historical snapshot of a Dalston house, complete with window ledges, brickwork and mouldings upon which visitors can “hang around”. One can get quite swept up in the playfulness of this installation.

But it’s not all fun and games. Dalston House also enables viewers to discover more about the architectural heritage and built environment of the area, and Dalston House is both an evocation and remembrance of the houses that once stood on Ashwin Street.

Dalston House will also incorporate a strong programme of events throughout the summer, with film screenings, performances and tours exploring architectural history and urbanism.

A fun house for all ages.

Dalston House can be found at 1-7 Ashwin Street near Dalston Junction Station. Admission Free, but with limited capacity. Runs 26 June-4 August 2013

By Sarah Stewart

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