2012 Second Place Winner - Oakland

Outdoor Shower

This project is a 186 square foot guest cottage in my backyard in Berkeley, CA. All the lumber, siding, flooring, doors, windows, skylights, appliances, fixtures and solar thermal system are salvaged. Most of the materials came from the ReUse store in Oakland; the rest I found either at Urban Ore, on Craigslist, or just around the neighborhood in the trash piles where old Victorians were being renovated.

The cottage was built without plans, using, for lack of a better term, a “no-design” approach. Many changes were made along the way as the structure revealed itself.

Because of the mild Bay Area climate, I chose to build an outdoor shower which opens to the yard via living sliding doors hung on 19th Century barn door hardware. The green roof over the bathroom and kitchen complement the shower doors. The interior bathroom door also slides open, but thanks to custom hardware built from a pair of old rollerblades.

When guests arrive, they find a doorbell made from a steel gas cylinder and a cast iron sash weight. Through the kitchen window, honey bees can be seen buzzing under a pear tree; their hive is also salvaged, made of old growth redwood with an aluminum road sign roof. The rolling ladder to the sleeping loft came from a library, and the clothes rail was my grandfather’s ski pole.

The shrine in the shower was made from scraps left over after construction.

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