lisa waud infills abandoned detroit house with thousands of flowers
all photos by heather saunders photography
in october 2015, florists from across the united states will come together in detroit, working together on an unique and immersive installation for the city. conceived by lisa waud, the ‘flower house‘ project will see these botanical experts fill the interior walls and ceilings of a 16-room abandoned urban house with american-grown fresh flowers and living plants, giving new life to a forgotten structure in the city.
varied forms of botanical life infill the abandoned detriot home
during first weekend of may 2015, the ‘flower house’ team hosted a preview event in a neighboring vacant house. inside the worn and neglected structure, visitors came upon a stunning display of greenery and blossoms interspersed and installed in nearly every crevice and cranny of the former residence. a chair upholstered with a ‘cushion’ of succulents and petals, a wall of tulips pinned to the interior by flower stems, and a ceiling dripping with vines turns the disarray and decay into a mesmerizing and sensory experience.
‘we estimated 4,000 stems were used for the preview event’ waud tells designboom. ‘we made our list to feature sturdy flowers and foliage that would stand up in chicken wire and other hardware structures we constructed. we also foraged stunningly beautiful forsythia from the highway median, cut down weedy trees growing out of the foundation, and tucked in wildflowers from the block.’
a leaf ‘wallpaper’ has been created to cover door frames
‘for the preview event, we had a general idea of what we wanted the small-scale installation to look like, but for the most part, seeing that it was one room, when the flowers were delivered, it was a collaboration’ ward tells us. ‘october’s exhibition will be different. each room will have a lead designer with an installation team behind her.’
a wall of tulips meets a mossy patch running up the door frame
upon the completion of the october 2015 installation — currently seeking funding on indiegogo — the structures on the ‘flower house’ property will be responsibly deconstructed and their materials re-purposed. the land on the formerly neglected properties will be converted into a flower farm and design center for waud’s floral design business, pot & box. the long-term program will see an ordinary street in detroit transform into a creative and collaborative place for the community.
‘the neighborhood surrounding the site is a functional and friendly one’, waud desribes. ‘everyone who walks by stops to ask what we’re doing, to hear about the flower house project and long-term plans to bring the structures down and make way for a flower farm, and to share what they remember about the houses’ past occupants.
tulips are pinned to the wall by flower stems
blue and purple flowers crawl up the widow frame, while leafy plants and vines hang from the ceiling
delicate flowers peek up from within the floor boards
plants erupt from the walls and hang from the ceiling
the abandoned space is completely transformed by the installation
a seat ‘cushion’ upholstered with succulents and flowers
leafy plants wrap around a door frame within the home
lisa waud in front of the site of ‘flower house’