History Unzipped: Installation Reveals the Guts of an Abandoned Factory

This is no illusion – what you’re looking at is literally the facade of an abandoned building peeling away from the structure itself, a gigantic metal zipper running down the center. The surreal installation entitled Open To The Public makes use of a building slated for demolition, the zipper referencing its past as a leather and textile manufacturer. It’s just the latest jaw-dropping facade manipulation from sculptor Alex Chinneck, who remains mum on the technical details of how his creations are produced.

“There is a history of textile that fed into the language of the zip,” Chinneck told Dezeen. “The building presented a good opportunity because, facing demolition, it gave us sculptural freedom to open it up to the elements. When introducing a narrative, we take complex paths to get to simple moments, which are quite accessible and conceptually light – we kept it playful with the zipping element.”

The building is located near Chinneck’s own studio, and he says the installation took about two months to plan and execute. The location is Brundrett House, Tannery Lane, Ashfield, TN23 1PN in Kent, England if you’re nearby and want to take a peek in person. It’ll be up through the end of August.

Previously, Chinneck seemingly split a brick building in London apart, slid down the neat and orderly facade of a home to reveal decay underneath, turned structures upside down, tied knots in columns and peeled away a section of the street, a car somehow clinging to its underside.