Who Killed the Electric Car? Director Chris Paine’s Marrakesh House

Filmmaker and environmentalist Chris Paine, noted for his award winning documentary Who Killed The Electric Car? celebrates the completion of Marrakesh House, his new green demonstration home with a Grand Opening Party on Saturday June 6th. The event will commence at 5pm so guests can witness a brilliant sunset from the hillside home.

Entertainment includes headliners Naked Rhythm, plus acclaimed performer Ben Lee, Danyavaad, DJ eEvil, and KCRW’s Tom Schnabel.

Inspired by a lifelong commitment to environmental activism and his interest in Moroccan design, Chris and his team transformed a hillside Mid-Century Modern Home into a 21st Century green showcase for more sustainable living. Located adjacent to California's newest State Park, the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook, Marrakesh House is one of the more environmentally friendly remodels in Southern California.

"Bringing people together has always been important to me, especially living in Los Angeles where everything is so spread out, says Paine. I wanted Marrakesh House to provide a relaxed atmosphere that reflects my interests in different cultures and more eco-friendly living. I hope Marrakesh House inspires everyone who comes here."

The Marrakesh House Grand Opening supports charities NextAid, Green Wave, Plug-In America, Rainforest Action Network, the Impro Theatre, and the Wildlife Learning Center. All the organizations will have representatives and information on hand at the event.  [more]

Marrakesh House Sponsors and solar providers Mitsubishi Electric and REC Solar have installed a unique kiosk that allows party-goers to see how the solar array is impacting the home’s energy use. Other house sponsors include sustainable plumbing provider Toto USA, Pittsburgh Paint Low VOC wall covering, Cisco Brothers furniture, noted Burning Man/ Coachella installation artist Shrine and GardeNerd organic gardens.

In addition to music and dance performances by Naked Rhythm, Ben Lee, Danyavaad, and DJ eEvil, there will be live animals courtesy of the Wildlife Learning Center who provide outreach education in wildlife biology. Models will be showcasing the latest in sustainable fashion by Meghan Fabulous and delicious Moroccan style cuisine will be provided by Akasha.

Ticket prices are $50 ($75 at door) for VIP which includes hosted bar and a gift bag of sustainable products or $25 ($40 at door) for general admission. Valet Parking is included. Space is very limited.

Tickets are on sale now through Brown Paper tickets, the first and only fair trade ticketing agency at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/57205.

Paine traveled to Morocco in 2008 and discovered that the layouts of traditional Moroccan “riads” center on a courtyard, in a way that mirrors the layout of his new property. With Marrakesh and Los Angeles located on similar latitudes, each with desert topographies near high mountains, he decided to call his remodel “Marrakesh House” combining the home’s Mid-Century modern architecture with Islamic design motifs to forge a visual bridge between two cultures.

Paine rarely wavered in his commitment to remodel the 4,300 square-foot house using environmentally friendly guidelines. He assembled a team of dedicated craftspeople, led by project manager, noted LEED AP, Shellie Collier. He also brought on board sponsors who were passionate about a reconstruction that would showcase greener living. When asked about their choices in planning the remodel, Shellie said, “I’m very glad we spent time considering how to take advantage of what the house already had instead of tearing everything down. Sometimes the future is about simply remaking the present.”

As a residence for the director of Who Killed the Electric Car? no garage would be complete without solar powered plug-in electric vehicles. During the remodel, three 220volt chargers were installed to charge on-site and visiting plug-in vehicles, whether electric scooters or plug-in hybrid conversions. “Of course, you can plug almost any electric car directly into a regular wall socket – it just takes longer that way,” notes Paine. At the moment, Paine’s “plug-in mecca” includes a 2002 Toyota Rav4-EV and his 2008 Tesla Electric Roadster, both of which have cameos in his upcoming film Revenge of the Electric Car. “Electric Cars make powering your car with renewable energy off your house easy. You just can’t do that with a gas car.”

In all Paine has created an opening event and home that brings Mid-Century modern into the 21st century with the currently popular, yet eternal style of Morocco and a focus on sustainability that will never go out of fashion.

For information on Marrakesh House or the event please contact Susan von Seggern on susan@susanvonseggern.com or 213-840-0077.

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