Image: Love House proposal, black and white, 2008.
The first project funded in large part by the grantLOVE project is The Love House Project in Watts, CA. The Love House Project began in the summer of 2008 when Alexandra made a proposal to both the Cerant family and Watts House Project (WHP). Grant’s initial image of an oversized Love sculpture atop the roof of the Cerant home was meant to act as a “lightning rod” to attract attention and resources to the project. Working with the Cerants, architects Roberto Sheinberg and Arnold Swanborn have interpreted Grant’s initial proposal to reflect the needs of the Cerant family and the 107th Street community.
Thinking of the Love House as a living, interactive artwork, the design includes a front garden and driveway that ameliorates parking and sewage problems for the family at the same time creating a space that reimagines public and private interactions. Up to 15,000 visitors come to see the Watts Towers every year, not realizing that they are in the middle of a residential neighborhood that has little economic benefit from the tourism (and loses most of their parking places to visitors!). The Love House design includes a series of benches on the Cerant property that welcome visitors to sit and enjoy the view of the Towers. Also part of the plans are a new bedroom and sleeping loft (to accommodate the 6 children, 2 grandmothers and parents living in the three-bedroom house), a garden that has permeable ground-cover as well as a fruits and vegetable gardens, a water-catchment system for rain, and two new porches for outdoor living space.
The Love House is now a project under the Pasadena Arts Council’s EMERGE program and currently under development.
Images: Love House plans and models by Roberto Sheinberg and Arnold Swanborn