Pink House, 1987-91.
1000 sq. ft., Boulder, Colorado.
built in 1897, Ringsby computer modeled, redesigned and rebuilt
it as sculpture from 1987-91. It was structurally transformed from a
Victorian farm house with conventional heat and oppressive living quarters
to passive solar with expansive living spaces. Virtually every surface
the house was transformed. Ringsby did an independent study with
nationally renown solar architect Dennis Holloway, at the University of
Colorado. Having completed his initial research, he computer modeled the
passive solar green house and great room on a CAD program for IBM. The
stone and woodwork in the greenhouse refer to traditional Navajo hogans
This building was recreated into a giant piece of public sculpture. Its
materials, colors and new design were approached for the creation of an
aesthetic object. Fuchsia and black exterior, galvanized steel roof and
blue sparkle Astroturf deck design refers to Latin American and Mississippi
delta shanty towns. Ringsby decided to insert something of his experience
of living in the developing world of Paraguay into middle class America
while living in a dank and colorless brick row house in York, England.
the time, Ringsby regarded The Pink House as a straight ahead punk rock
statement against bland conformity. And he meant it to be strong public
declaration. At the same time he conferred with all of his neighbors
before making the said changes, which they agreed to as they didn't believe
he would actually do them. He had felt somewhat frustrated by the physical
smallness of most sculpture. The creation of The Pink House allowed
Ringsby to make a bright bold statement in public that people could see
years. It was not just another art object locked away in an invisible
art gallery for a short period.