SITE: San Francisco, CA

DATE : completed 2005

TEAM : IA with Public Architecture

As part of World Environmental Day, hosted in June 2005 by San Francisco, INTERSTICE, along with a team of other architects, builders, engineers, city officials and artists created an 850 s.f. Exhibition home in San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza. This dwelling was designed and built entirely out of scrap – reused or recycled materials.

Rethinking a standard single-family home floor plan, the ScrapHouse is an elegant conduit for dwelling solution constructed entirely with reclaimed materials and pointing directly at City Hall. Everything from the foundation to the front door was reclaimed and re-used. Finding appropriate innovative materials was part of the challenge. Some salvaged materials were re-used for their intended purpose, while some were reincarnated in unusual ways.

The exterior of the house is shingled with street signs, back-painted glass shower doors, and scraps of sheet metal. The roof is made of old billboards. The interior walls are clad in discarded fire hoses, phone books and computer keyboards. Floors are made from old doors. Countertops are made from junk tile. An impressive chandelier is constructed of old stoplights. Another light fixture is made up of cast-off desk lamps sitting on a hanging platform. Every stick of furniture and every little accessory — chairs, beds, cups, faucets — is pulled straight out of the trash heap.

Like other houses built in the city, ScrapHouse complies with all applicable building codes.