Green Architecture Spotlight: The Marrakesh House

| 6/22/2009 4:04:39 PM

Hollywood is going green. On June 6, filmmaker Chris Paine (“Who Killed the Electric Car”) had a big debut. However, this time it wasn’t a film he was showing, but his newly remodeled, sustainable house. Dubbed the Marrakesh House because of its Moroccan design, this home blends green design with artistic whimsy.


Marrakesh house
The atrium of the Marrakesh House. Photo Courtesy Marrakesh House.  

The house was originally a 4,300 square foot home from the 1950s, but Paine has worked with a design team lead by project manager Shellie Collier, a LEED-accredited professional, to create a modern, green demonstration home. The idea for the Moroccan theme came from the positioning of the original structure around a central courtyard, mirroring the form of traditional riads. Throughout the house, Islamic design motifs blend with modern architecture to create a look that is truly unique. 

Paine and Collier used a variety of techniques to make the Marrakesh House as sustainable as possible. By reusing materials from the original house they were able to eliminate 75 percent of the waste that usually accompanies a remodel. Outside, the plants in the garden need little water. Many are native to southern California and the rest are edible. The retaining walls around the property were all made from construction waste materials claimed from other sites in the area. 

Marrakesh house solar panals
Chris Paine and the solar panels on the house. Photo Courtesy Marrakesh House.