Architecture and Recycling
Boundaries issue n. 5
The topic of recycling, presented in this issue, is the “re-use” of materials, objects and structures, for different purposes, and in different ways from their original uses, in order to build or re-build, to provide possible solutions to problems related to the environment, and to manage waste more intelligently.
Tyres, containers, bottles, cans, CD-ROMs and even keyboards, can find new and unexpected uses in experimental architecture, exhibition pavilions, or low-cost housing. With recycled objects, one can build anti-seismic and energy efficient houses. Recycled materials can contribute towards building shelters to meet the needs of people affected by disasters. There are many topics connected to recycling, and they vary depending on the objects that one wishes to recycle and how they will be put to use.
Used tyres find many applications in REfunc architecture and the Bohlin-Cywinski-Jackson studio. Dorte Mandrup transformed a piezometer into the supporting structure for apartments built with standardized modules. David Hertz reused the wings of a 747 as roof for a villa in Malibu. TYIN Tegnestue architects restored a building with recycled materials, mainly found on location. Yatin Pandya and Footprints E.A.R.T.H. built an activity centre in Ahmedabad using items that were considered as rubbish to their original owners. James & Mau and Infiniski designed fashion homes with recycled containers. The same kind of containers were used by MacArthur Studio and Means & Wells, to build a travelling exhibition pavilion. The GAD. In London, Folke Koebberling and Martin Kaltwasser constructed an experimental theatre using only recycled materials.
The panorama that emerges shows the extreme heterogeneity of the work, materials and techniques, the intuitive approach and the infinite possibilities offered by recycling. All of these projects highlight the importance of the construction process as an opportunity for learning and discussion.