Chicken John and a bunch of artists have been working with the City of San Francisco on ScrapHouse, a project to build an entire house out of salvaged materials in the Civic Center Plaza. ScrapHouse is part of United Nations: World Environment Day 2005 and it will be free and open to the public from Thursday, June 2 through Sunday, June 5, 2005, 10am – 8pm. Here’s the full press release.
Over the course of just six weeks, an eclectic team of volunteers scoured Bay Area dumps and scrap yards, often discovering unused materials with the price tags still affixed. A group of architects, interior designers, landscape architects, lighting specialists, and metal fabricators gave these materials new life and ScrapHouse its final shape. Based on their design, ScrapHouse has all the amenities of a traditional American home: a kitchen, a bathroom, two bedrooms, a deck, and beautifully landscaped yard. The design is intentionally bold: an L-shaped layout, with a mezzanine-level bedroom, and a roof inverted like the wings of a butterfly.
Still, what is most intriguing about ScrapHouse is the creative use of previously discarded materialsâ€”most of which were destined for the landfill. On one wall, 500 old phonebooks, stacked vertically, provide both insulation and texture. Another roomâ€™s floor is tiled with leather scraps, leftover from upholstery jobs. For landscaping, day-old flowers from local outlets surround the house in hundreds of tiny vases cut from garden hoses, which protrude from the green grass lawn.