Saturday, April 30, 2011


Dunbar and Astrakhan's low-cost, high-impact tour de force is a storefront facade constructed from salvaged double-insulated window glass panels arranged in a shingle pattern.
The facade and sidewalk garden have become something of a symbol of renewal on a street better known for gang activity. Consequently, it also catches the attention of people passing by. "The angled panes are quite reflective so even though people can't look in, the texture attracts them," Dunbar says. "Sometimes they stand outside and wonder if it moves. It does not!"

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The roof became the perfect location for their vegetable garden, as well as benches and a recreation space crowned by a hot tub powered by a four-kilowatt solar array

"Small Ikea kitchens drive me crazy, but six kitchens' worth of Ikea cabinets can be made into something beautiful," Dunbar says. Staggered by width, the cabinets have exposed kick-plate gaps for storing CDs. The easy-to-assemble cabinets cost $12,000, which is about a tenth of the price of custom storage units.