When I was a lot younger I remember watching the 1935 version of Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield – apart from W.C. Fields and the dotty, but loveable, Mr. Dick (played by Lennox Pawle) the one thing that stuck in my mind above all was Peggotty’s house on the seashore, which was constructed from an up-turned boat. It felt so warm and snug against the stormy weather outside – I really wanted one (and I probably still do!).
The only picture I can find of this boat-house is on another wordpress blog called Paradise Leased, about the architecture and people of old Hollywood. Apparently the boat-house ‘prop’ was moved and became the home of Mr. R.H. Stiles (pictured below), who intended to turn it into a seafood restaurant – whether he did or not, I really don’t know.There are similar up-turned boats used as sheds and dotted around The Holy Island of Lindisfarne, just off the northeast coast of England (see below).
But the main reason for this posting is to highlight how this quirky and quite Victorian-looking interpretation of recycling has been updated and turned into a very trendy winery in Mexico.
It is featured on the ever-bountiful designboom website. The architecture uses discarded boats from a nearby port to form the ceiling and walls and is a wonderfully practical way to reclaim wood. Not only do we get to see the curvacious lines which are usually submerged under water but, by the very nature of it’s original purpose, the underside of a boat is just as effective as the upside of a building. The fact that there has been very little re-processing involved in changing one use to another is also a huge positive in environmental stakes. Although the architect is not mentioned (which is a real shame!) hopefully this ingenious and elegant re-interpretation will inspire other architects to think a little differently about the materials they use.