Transforming a 5-unit apartment building into a single family residence was a challenge for Santa-Monica based design studio Minarc. The construction of the 4,200 square feet building aimed at minimizing demolition and maximizing sustainability. Therefore, a wide range of materials were recycled and the spaces were re-purposed. In addition to the new building materials, recycled concrete panels, recycled rubber, rubber sinks, recycled cork, recycled paperboard, and reclaimed woods were used to give the house a powerful eco-friendly nature. Located in Santa Monica, California, the home is lit by natural light as much as possible and uses wind and solar power to create a comfortable, modern living style. Completed in 14 months, the naturally ventilated house features re-purposed beams from the old structure to give the courtyard a new face.

Another set of reclaimed wood was used to build for the staircase and counter tops. Minarc display their strong belief in sustainability in each detail of this re-purposed family home: “Our design elements are not merely decorative, but serve a functional purpose. Material manufactured from recycled tires and cork is used on kitchen cabinetry and kitchen chairs, creating an elegant kitchen unaffected by normal wear and tear of family life. The steel windowsill in the front room creates an additional seating area with magnetic cushions that can be re-arranged as needed. The upstairs bookshelf functions as railings/barriers between floor plans and evokes the ocean with blue panelite. Inexpensive re-cycled rubber material used for bathroom sinks chosen for its great sustainability. Magnetic chalkboard sliders in the play area and paperboard sliders in the kids’ rooms transform the house itself into a medium for children’s artistic expression. Shoe storage drawers beneath coat closet double as a bench for changing shoes. We struggled with how to orient windows and mass of the house to enable the best ventilation.”