Park McArthur. Live-Work Residence. 2018
Now I invite you to imagine a building. This building does not exist. At present it lives in the mind of the artist as a persistent daydream.
Imagine entering this building through automated doors to the sound of a recorded voice saying “abierto, open.” As the doors close behind you, the recorded voice says, “cerrar, close.”
Facing the entryway, a person sits behind a desk and signs with their hands while making the shape for the English word “welcome” with their mouth. Loops used for sound amplification are available at the desk. The person inquires as to whether you are here to visit someone or to possibly view the current exhibition. They let you know that there is a screening and group discussion later that day at 7pm.
The ground floor features a large room where people are hanging out.
Beyond this room is a hallway leading to 3 artists’ studios.
The basement level spans the entire footprint of the building. In a large, ramped indoor pool, a few people float on rafts, kicking occasionally to steer themselves across the water. Another person lowers themselves into the pool with an electric lift. Smooth, anti-slip tiles surround the entire pool. Five individual bath-and-changing rooms with roll-in showers sit at one end of the basement next to a small, cedar wood sauna. At the other end of the basement, skylights line the ceiling. Light channels itself in through the enforced glass making shapes on the pool’s unsettled water.
Above the ground floor is an open area with four additional artists’ studios. One wall consists primarily of windows that extend to all floors except the basement. In front of these windows are tables and chairs where people are eating. There is a large, open kitchen where people linger to talk while they make or pick up food.
People gather on seating placed throughout the open space. You overhear conversations and laughter.
Different size apartments comprise the building’s additional floors. The hallways are eight feet (2.4 m) wide and the individual floors are accessed using a key fob in the elevator.
The apartments share similarities in design. The kitchens have moveable parts that can be added as desired: step stools, for example, and small wooden-topped tables with adjustable legs and caster wheels. The kitchen counters are supported by pillars leaving open space underneath. At one end of the counter, a series of shelves on rolling tracks pull out vertically. At the other end, a refrigerator, freezer, and microwave sit on top of the counter. Near the sink, four cook-tops are installed. Above, a hood draws air to the outside. An oven is mounted to the wall at 28 inches (71 cms).
Sliding doors on rolling tracks separate and enclose each apartment’s interior rooms. The doors are moved manually and can be automated. Thresholds between rooms are slightly raised, causing a smooth yet vibratory sensation when moving across them. The bedrooms are soundproofed.
The bathrooms join an enclosed area and toilet room with a larger wet room. The wet room features a hand-held shower and built-in bench with an embedded call button and small speaker that can automatically dial a series of chosen phone numbers when pressed. Near the bench are stainless steel grab bars. The entire room (except for the ceiling) is covered in smooth anti-slip tile. Along the room’s widest wall a deep soaking tub is enshrouded in the same tile. The tub’s wide outer rim acts as an additional bench and transfer seat.
There is a garden and a large emergency generator on the roof.
Income, either by minimum or maximum, are not the determining factor for living here and the desire to change apartments (or whom someone lives with) would not require a resident to move out unless they wanted to. Today, many of this building’s features are dispersed and shared among multiple living spaces, places, and homes, but one all-inclusive structure remains a dream.