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Cloud House makes it rain on demand with creative water harvesting system

You won’t have to do a rain dance to make it rain at the Cloud House—sitting in one of its rocking chairs should do the trick.Artist Matthew Mazzotta created the Cloud House, a gabled pavilion with a cloud-like sculpture that releases collected rainwater whenever someone sits inside the building. Crafted from reclaimed materials, the art installation was commissioned in Springfield, Missouri to bring attention to our dependence on natural systems, like the water cycle, that grow the food we eat.

“Located at Springfield, MO’s largest farmers’ market, CLOUD HOUSE is a poetic counterpoint to the busy market, inviting visitors to a meditative space in which they can slow down, enjoy the fresh edible plants, and listen to rain on a tin roof,” writes Mazzotta. Topped with a cloud-shaped resin sculpture attached by a pipe, the gabled structure is built of barn wood and tin reclaimed from an abandoned Amish farm. Edible plants grow on the windowsills and the building’s two ends are left completely open to reveal a sparse interior decorated with two rocking chairs and a small table.

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Rainwater is collected with a gutter system that funnels the water into an underground storage tank. When someone sits on the rocking chair, a pump is triggered to bring the harvested rainwater up to the artificial cloud where it’s released as droplets onto the roof. The rainwater simulation waters the windowsill plants and creates a “warm pleasant sound of rain on a tin roof.” During periods of drought, however, the cloud will not rain to illustrate man’s dependence on the natural world.

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