Darkhouse Lighthouse

Darkhouse Lighthouse (in progress)

Collaboration with Lenka Clayton / Opening September 25, 2022 / Commissioned by Troy Hill Art Houses / Construction by Dovetail

A full-size, working lighthouse will be constructed entirely within the structure of a dilapidated row house. Darkhouse Lighthouse will be a permanent public artwork, located in the Troy Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.   

The lighthouse, usually an isolated beacon of hope and warning, is hidden instead inside a domestic space. Its foot emerges from the basement floor, and stretches four stories up, terminating in a weathervane that pierces the roofline. At night the rotating light is visible from the street below, through the attic window. Visitors, will be individually guided through the installation by trained docents. The route has been carefully designed to allow a viewer to pass through the work without retracing their steps, creating a seamless and disorientating journey into a house, through a lighthouse, out into and around a garden, then back to the street. The sequence unveils an ascending and descending breezeway, spiral stairs, a lighthouse keepers quarters rich and full of objects and clues of a life, an attic room where an authentic fourth order Fresnel lens slowly rotates throwing a sharp beam of light around the interior of a dark space, and a back garden with flowing sea grass and a navigational cone marker.

This architectural instrument will sit much like a latent time capsule in anticipation of being fully activated one day as a functional navigational marker once the sea level rises to meet the work – currently 879 feet above and 382 miles away from the ocean.