Up-Cycle House is a site for experimentation and pushing the limits of what is possible with recycled materials. The existing home was at the end of its life cycle, no longer meeting the functional, thermal, or comfort needs of the residents. Instead of demolishing and rebuilding the house, it has been up-cycled to create a sustainable, functional, and comfortable home. The closed-loop zero-waste ethos meant that as much as possible of the original fabric of the house was retained and with new work constructed from recycled and salvaged materials.


The 104 sqm house features three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a generous open-plan living/dining/kitchen area. The entry to the house is via a ‘solar pergola’ that provides shelter and generates 1kw of energy from its photovoltaic cells. Internally, the house uses salvaged tiles, recycled windows, and reclaimed timber to create a unified aesthetic that is playful and practical at the same time. Externally the large garden has been crafted into a sequence of usable spaces with the use of recycled railway sleepers and recycled bricks.


Project Team

Alexander Symes



Alexander Symes 



Ascent Engineering



Barton Taylor