3-story container townhouse shines in street art vibrant alley

June 7, 2020 john 20 11545 32:48

When Carl Cassell started his restaurant in Toronto’s Queen West, land was affordable; now it’s not, so when he and his wife Ana Silva wanted to move into the neighborhood, they decided to build on top of their eatery, using shipping containers as a way to prefab it offsite and avoid shutting down the business…

50 years off-grid: architect-maker paradise amid NorCal redwoods

April 26, 2020 john 20 152661 47:29

In 1968, Charles Bello and his wife, Vanna Rae, moved onto 240 acres of redwood forest looking to live a simpler life off the land. They had spent their savings to purchase the land so they got to work building their home themselves. Their first structure was a panelized A-frame that they erected in 5…

How the Mississippi shantyboats helped build a culture

May 9, 2017 john 19 23162 19:07

“I do not know much about gods; but I think that the river Is a strong brown god—sullen, untamed and intractable” – “Dry Salvages”, T.S. Eliot Long before Wes Modes began planning a journey down the Mississippi, he started building a traditional barge-bottom houseboat in a California backyard out of rustic reclaimed materials (e.g. old…

Dan Phillips turns backyard scraps in whimsical Texan houses

April 9, 2017 john 19 13663 17:22

Transforming wine corks and bottle caps into flooring, cow bones into countertops, frame samples into ceilings and old deck boards into doors, Dan Phillips believes a second life is possible building refuse. His company, Phoenix Commotion, turns trash into homes, employs “unskilled” workers and creates shelter for low-income families, but it’s not a non-profit. Instead,…

Dan Price’s underground home, art & philosophy on $5,000/year

September 21, 2015 john 0 474 34:04

When Dan Price returned to his home state of Oregon in 1990 he was determined to avoid mortgages or rent (he and his family had just finished caretaking a mansion with a heating bill of $500/month). He found an unused meadow in Joseph, Oregon and began renting it from his neighbors for $100/year (in exchange…

Idaho modern oldtimer builds underground & solar $50 houses

August 5, 2015 john 0 9136 24:16

Mike Oehler lived for over 30 years in an underground home that he built for $50 (and expanded for $500) on his land in Northern Idaho near the Canadian border. Now in his seventies his arthritis keeps him from hiking up to his home, but he continues to “write and proselytize” In 1968 like thousands…