The Inside Out: The SCRAP House Shines in SF!

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Name: Scrappy
Location: Civic Center park, San Francisco, California
Favorite: that every thing in and of this house is recycled, reused, or salvaged.

Maybe it is my warped sense of reality or my strange upbringing, or it could be all that time I spent in San Francisco, but I think one has to admit that DIY is coming into its own. And not just DIY, but reuse and recycling as the means to achieving that DIY end.

Unlike the voyeuristic experiences the Inside Out house tours usually provide, no one lives in this house.

Its appeal was magnified, however, while it was still standing (up June 1st-June 5th) by the opportunity to walk through it and interact with that which one found appealing. It was the SCRAP house (Scraphouse.org) --an idea generated by a filmmaker named Anna Fitch who thought it would be a great concept/process to document.

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Fortunately, the chief building inspector at the San Francisco Building Department was interested and suggested United Nations World Environment Day (WED) as the perfect setting.

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His city agency connections facilitated the ease of access to large scale building materials from the airport, fire department, parking and traffic department, contractors, etc. In addition salvage yards around the Bay Area provided whatever else was needed. Lastly, Public Architecture joined the team and provided the design. The 1000 square foot, loft style single family house was constructed in two weeks.

Although most of the materials were gleaned from large municipal stock piles, there are ideas here for everyone with the smallest to the largest of resource outlets.

Architects, recent home-owners, anarchists, and pre-schoolers alike, romped through this touch-welcome museum with equal amounts of giddiness. It was a game, challenge, political statement, and/or design fodder to identify the materials used to make this house. And because of the sincerity of mission on the part of the creators, it already felt like a home. JS

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.