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Home from car metal scraps


While the McGee House in California, USA, may look like any other new designer home in the neighbourhood, its walls tell a different story. Designed by the husband-and-wife team Karl Wanaselja and Cate Leger of Leger Wanaselja Architecture, the upper outside walls of the house are made from more than 100 salvaged car roofs.

In a bid to build a house that utilised green technologies and reused materials, the couple sourced car roofs from a selection of grey-coloured cars that had been abandoned in local junk yards in Berkeley, California.

Their biggest challenge was sourcing car scraps that were in relatively good condition, without dents and with a good paint finish.  The scraps were then cut into long tile-like shapes and used to complete the upper outside walls of the house.

The residential building also features lower walls clad in poplar bark, a waste product from the furniture industry of another US state, North Carolina, and unique awnings fabricated from junked side windows of Dodge Caravans, once America’s best-selling mini-van. 

The curved exterior walls give the impression that the house is smaller than an average two-storey home.  However, the interior boasts wide open spaces, high ceilings and large open windows.

Solar energy harnesses electricity and provides hot water for the house most of the year, with a back-up system that only accesses the grid during rain or heavy overcast periods.

The house was built using resource-efficient and low-toxicity materials, including concrete that contains 50 per cent fly ash cement, is coloured with natural earth pigments and is sealed with soy-based binder from Soycrete.  Geetha Balachandran

Leaning towers of Paris’ project approved

Plans have been approved for the building of a pair of new leaning skyscrapers in the city of Paris, one 175 metres high and the other 115 metres tall. The new “leaning towers of Paris” have been designed by the renowned French architect Jean Nouvel and will be the first in the new high-rise quartier [district] of Bruneseau.

They will have a common base which opens out in the shape of a ‘V’. Called BS3, the new buildings beside the Seine at Quai d’Ivry will offer more than 90,000 sq. metres of offices, a 237-room four-star hotel, retail space and a revolving restaurant.  Built on Rue Bruneseau and Boulevard du General Jean Simon, they will tower over the marshalling yards to the south-east of the French capital.

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