Minggu, 18 Maret 2012

An otherworldly upside-down home


When you were a child, did you spend time wondering what it would be like to walk on the ceiling? If so, you are probably among the millions who, even as adults, continue to be enchanted by the idea of an upside-down house.

Worldwide, there are a number of upside-down houses. Some offer almost an amusement park experience, but many exist simply to turn the everyday world on end.

Imagine walking down an ordinary street and coming upon an upended house balanced on a front gable. That’s the experience for visitors to Rumah Terbalik, Malaysia’s first upside-down house. From the outside, it looks exactly like its neighbors, traditional Sabah village residences. A wheelbarrow leans against a wall and a sedan is parked in the adjacent carport. All typical except they are upside down.
Inside, a TV, microwave, tables, chairs and sofas dangle above visitors who navigate the home’s ceilings, steering around light fixtures and ceiling fans. Playing cards and comic books strewn along the floor, a cigarette in an ashtray, make it seem as though the family has just left the room. Even the washing machine and sewing machine hang overhead. Literally everything in the 1,500-square-foot, two-bedroom home is topsy turvy. But in this house it is the visitors who feel they are ones turned on end.
In addition to bringing visitors to the region, Rumah Terbalick’s creator, Alexander Yee, says he wants to call attention to the long term impact of unbridled development, which has the potential to turn the world upside down. “The World Stands on its Head” is actually the name of Germany’s upside-down house, while the house in Poland, built during the Soviet era, was said to be a commentary on Communism and state of the world.

Maybe an upside-down house will prove to be the perfect antidote to an increasingly topsy-turvy world.

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