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This Off-Grid House Was Made Entirely of Salvaged Materials

Photos by <a href="http://www.fernandoalda.com/">Fernando Alda</a> via <a href="http://www.dezeen.com/2015/09/14/patrick-dillons-salo-house-sustainable-low-cost-forest-panama/">Dezeen</a>.
Photos by Fernando Alda via Dezeen.

Bushes and brambles are usually cleared to make way for the built environment, but there are exceptions, like this house in Panama's San Pablo River valley. The idea for SaLo House, as it's known, came to architect Patrick Dillon—of firm Ensitu—back in 1997 when he was working on the construction of a bridge over the San Pablo River in southwestern Panama.

Dillon chose lightweight, easily transportable materials salvaged from his previous work on the nearby bridge. The structure's arched form, supported by steel beams, gives it a lovely angularity and helps, too, provide natural ventilation. Sliding walls made of corrugated fiberglass create a translucent boundary between indoors and out, while the flooring is composed of recycled pine and Douglas fir salvaged from demolished houses in the region.

Dillon also worked to help revive the natural vitality of the site, re-planting flora, and installing solar panel and rainwater collection systems. The latter consists, in part, of a little pool nestled under a shaded canopy. Almost 20 years after the process began, Dillon tells Dezeen, "The place has grown old gracefully, as I believe architecture should ...the house originally sat on that burned-out knob, it is now buried deep within a fantastic hilltop forest teeming with life."


SaLo House is an off-grid forest dwelling overlooking the Pacific Ocean [Dezeen]
All Eco Design posts [Curbed]