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Painting an illusion is one thing, “peeling off” a building’s facade as an art installation takes a bit more, shall we say, commitment. British sculptor Alex Chinneck, who specializes in illusory sculptural and architectural displays has created a building unzipped, in what amounts to an edificial striptease. Created for Milan Fashion Week and in collaboration with Phillip Morris’ IQOS brand, the building is removing its clothing via a huge 56-foot wide unfurling made of cement and flexible materials that also happens to reveal a backlit layer that alternately glows between white and blue. Inside, the zipper theme continues on the floors and walls, where light displays also make themselves known behind the “curtain”. “Ethereal light pours through each opening, filling the space with color and filling the work with a sense of positivity and potential,” Chinneck states. “By taking familiar materials and architectural forms and making them behave in extraordinary ways, we are working with IQOS to change visitors’ perceptions of what is possible.” We just want to know how they change out the bulbs.

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