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Berkeley, California

Berkeley Car House

A celebration of once forgotten materials. 

Architects Karl Wanaselja and Kate Leger would be the first to tell you that they live in a junky house. Using the roofs cut out of 104 junkyard cars, Wanaselja created the roof and siding on his Berkeley, California home. He sat for hours in the junkyard, evaluating which cars would compliment his emerging palate of silvers, grays and soft golds.

The countertops in their kitchen are made from the salvaged wood of Coast Live Oaks, a tree native to California.

“Every piece of material in this house has a story,” Leger says. The decking and railings are all salvaged redwoods and the glass awning over their deck is made from the side windows of a dodge caravan. They also operate their architecture studio out of a recycled shipping container in their backyard.

“I think more and more people are thinking about the bigger picture,” Wanaselja says. “I think it’s just a matter of time before people are using recyclable materials in their houses.”

It only cost the couple $1,400 dollars to build their roof.

“It doesn’t cost more to build green. It doesn’t. And it can be a lot more pleasant,” Leger says.