Soon after architect Alexander Symes from Australia bought his first home, he realized that the maintenance tasks never end. To solve this, he carried out an extensive renovation, which resulted in Up-Cycle House, as he now calls it. The home features lots of recycled materials and was renovated with sustainability in mind. The house is located in Blackheath, New South Wales, Australia.
Up-Cycle House measures around 1,119 sq ft (104 sq m), and has three bedrooms and two bathrooms, along with a large, open plan living, dining and kitchen area. The interior furnishings were kept light and clean.
The path leading up to the house was made from railway sleepers and rather unique brickwork, which makes it look like the home is still under construction. This is understandable, since the entire project was carried out by Symes, along with friends and family in their spare time. During the course of the renovation, which was completed in April of this year, Symes taught himself many building techniques. This resulted in a unique style of the home’s entrance, as well as the “solar pergola,” which is a sort of a solar panel-topped garden element that was constructed out of recycled bricks.
They used a lot of recycled materials for this project. The mosaic floors were made from tiles they collected from sample showrooms and recycled building centers, and the unique glazing came from construction waste of other projects and samples.
The existing external sliding door was re-glazed with glass samples and hey also added scrap hardwood to it. The interior glass door, on the other hand, was salvaged from another project, since it was measured incorrectly for that one. The kitchen cabinetry was custom made using timber flooring offcuts, while one of the room dividers was made from salvaged doors, and a recycled Jenga set made of timber.
All the tiling helps keep the interior cool in the summer, while they also added insulation under the floor and in the walls. They also added a reconditioned Norwegian Jotul fireplace, which is used for heating in the winter. The solar array helps offset the home’s dependency on the electrical grid for power, while they also installed a grey water filtration system.
Symes recently sold the home for an undisclosed sum.