McGee Salvage House

  • 2011
  • Square Feet
  • 1100
  • Bedrooms
  • 2
  • Full Baths
  • 1
  • Partial Baths
  • 1
  • This project page was created by community member Leger Wanaselja Architecture

    The McGee Salvage House shows that healthy material choices need not be compromised in pursuit of energy efficiency. In addition, it’s forward looking design creates an entrée into its green credentials, revealing an emphasis on energy performance, environmental and health impacts of building materials, and water conservation.

    The entire exterior is clad in salvaged and junked materials. Over 100 salvaged car roofs cover the upper walls of this house. The roofs were sawed out of grey cars left for parts in local junk yards. The lower walls are clad in poplar bark, a waste product from the furniture industry of North Carolina. The awnings are fabricated from junked Dodge Caravan side windows.

    The 1140 square foot, 2 bedroom house is small on the outside and big on the inside. The curved exterior allows more light to enter the south windows and more light to slide past into the neighbor’s yard. It also creates the optical illusion of reduced size from the street. Inside, the high ceilings, wide open spaces, and large windows and doors to the garden create a sense of spaciousness.

    It is located in the heart of one of Berkeley, California’s oldest residential neighborhoods, near the downtown core. The house shares its 6500 sq. ft. site with an existing 1920’s bungalow and a young grove of 4 Redwoods. A fixture on Berkeley green home tours, it has been a popular addition to the neighborhood. In 2012 it received an AIA green design award.

    Posted By
    Leger Wanaselja Architecture
    Leger Wanaselja Architecture was founded in 1991 by husband-and-wife team Karl Wanaselja and Cate Leger. It is an award-winning architecture and general contracting firm with a specialty in ecological design. Our work includes design, ground-up construction, and renovation. We turn our hand-sketched visions into beautiful, well crafted and original buildings. It is our belief that, at its essence, a work of architecture is a functional work of art. Leger Wanaselja Architecture creates architecture specific to its place. We integrate programmatic requirements with the specific geography, sunlight and weather patterns of a site so that our projects emerge naturally from their surroundings. Through careful siting and planning, our buildings make the most of the environment. They are climactically comfortable inside and efficient in their use of energy. Graceful transitions link rooms together and connect the indoors to the outdoors. Skylights, well-placed windows and doors, and sight lines through rooms and beyond create a sense of spaciousness and connection to the surrounding environment. Where possible, we use local materials and reuse existing materials, reinforcing the relationship of project to place. To achieve the best possible design for each client, we are committed to innovation both in design and construction. We regularly review new and alternative materials and construction methods to improve upon aesthetics and performance, and to reduce the ecological impacts of architecture.
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