Rooftop Lizard Habitat

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Artist Mark Brest van Kempen explains his water catchment/recycling system

We spent an inspiring evening yesterday at the home of our friend Mark Brest van Kempen, an Oakland-based artist whose work “draws our attention to nature’s role as source, setting and savior“. Mark’s house and studio are a kind of living laboratory nestled in the hills on the verdant banks of Chimes Creek, whose year-round flow spills gently over a waterfall below the house. Mark has worked tirelessly to protect the creek from the effects of residential development upstream, and his house is a model for how domestic architecture can simultaneously protect a watershed and create habitat. Mark’s family recycles their greywater, which is processed through a sequence of living plants that produce food and attract beneficial birds and insects. They also harvest rainwater from their rooftops and use solar-powered pumps to cycle it back onto the flat roof above Mark’s office, where he has created a lovely ‘lizard habitat’ (see below).

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recycled rainwater nourishes a rooftop lizard habitat

Please stay tuned for an interview with Mark Brest van Kempen in the coming weeks.


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