Few sounds in this world are quite as satisfying as that of fresh rainwater falling on a tin roof. However, this soothing sensation is just one element of the Cloud House, a unique, interactive rainwater-harvesting system created by designer Matthew Mazzotta in Springfield, Missouri. From the comfort of a wooden rocking chair, the user is immersed in a rural farm experience, offering passers-by a moment to slow down, enjoy fresh edible plants and, as promised, bask in the sound of rain striking a tin roof.
Built in recycled timber and metal from an abandoned farm, the Cloud House acts as a meditative, reflective retreat from the intensity of modern life, and a demonstration of our fragile dependence on natural systems. First, falling rainwater from the sky is collected and stored in an underground tank. Then, through the soothing motion of the rocking chair, the user triggers a system which pumps collected water up to the overhead ‘cloud.’ The water once again falls onto the barn, creating the warm, pleasant sound of rain on a tin roof, and nourishing the edible plants growing on the windowsill.
A poetic counterpoint to the nearby bustling farmers' market, the Cloud House evokes the image of a quiet, simple, rural farmhouse of times past. Furthermore, it offers a subtle portrait of humankind’s dependence on natural systems. In the absence of natural rainfall, the underground reservoir would eventually empty and the artificial cloud would remain dry—and of course, the edible plants would not grow. Even in the playful novelty of the Cloud House, humanity and nature are deeply entwined, interdependent, each thriving from the sustained growth of the other.
Narrative aside, the Cloud House is first and foremost a place of quiet contemplation. In an age when "the cloud" has become synonymous with technology, innovation, and relentless connectivity, the Cloud House offers the chance to unplug, switch off, and immerse oneself in the fragile beauty of the natural world, whatever the weather.
News via: Matthew Mazzotta
See another of Matthew Mazzotta's works featured on ArchDaily here.
Correction update: This article originally stated that the Cloud House project was located in "Springfield, Montana." It is actually in Springfield, Missouri.