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Housing Reclaimed by Jessica Kellner


Housing Reclaimed by Jessica Kellner

Author:Jessica Kellner
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: ebook, ARC018000
ISBN: 9781550924930
Publisher: New Society Publishers
Published: 2011-10-01T04:00:00+00:00


PART 2

INSTITUTIONALIZING REUSE

CHAPTER 7

A TALL ORDER

IN TEXAS

The Phoenix Commotion’s unique, artistic homes

keep waste out of the landfill and communities alive

in Huntsville, Texas.

IN 1998 IN HUNTSVILLE, TEXAS, Dan and Marsha Phillips founded the Phoenix Commotion, a home-building business dedicated to providing low-income housing for working folks — mainly single-parent, and low-income families and working artists. The company keeps costs low by building with salvaged materials collected from all over the world. Made from an unusual and diverse assortment of building materials — landfill-bound scrap wood and insulation, used wine corks, adobe, stone, bottle caps, shards of broken tiles and mirrors, papier mâché, old plates and CDs, to name a few — Phoenix Commotion homes don’t look like the standard suburban ranch house. These homes, part perfectly personalized living space, part living art project, look more like something dreamed up in a fairy tale than something you’d find in a subdivision. As Dan Phillips explains, a town the size of Huntsville throws away enough waste to build a small house every week. He’s trying to build those small houses.

Phoenix Commotion Basics

Dan Phillips has had several careers throughout his life, and today he applies skills from all of them to his dream job. Spending ten years as a dance professor at Hunstville’s Sam Houston State University (SHSU) gave him skills in instruction and artistry. Long dedicated to the idea of creative reuse and making new from old, Dan and his wife, Marsha, opened an art and antique restoration business called the Phoenix Workshop in 1985. The store gave him the chance to see all the great “waste” materials coming out of the construction industry in his area. But it wasn’t until 1998, after 35 years of marriage, that they decided to make good on Dan’s lifelong dream of becoming a builder. They mortgaged their home and founded the Phoenix Commotion, Dan’s salvaged-home-building business. By 2003, the Phoenix Commotion had taken off to such a degree that Dan could no longer split his efforts between the Phoenix Workshop and the Phoenix Commotion, so Dan and Marsha closed the Workshop to focus full-time on the Phoenix Commotion.



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