BNKR arquitetcura upcycles crates into social topography
all images © emelio barjau
in 2012 mexican studio BNKR arquitetcura built a recycled pavilion that function as the cafeteria for expo CIHAC, the largest architecture and construction exhibition in latin america, which takes place every year in mexico city. built using 5,000 soda crates, the up-cycled pieces aimed to serve as an example for sustainability, not ending up in the trash afterwards, like other temporary structures. when the expo finished, the containers were returned to the soda company to continue their original use and function.
the ‘social topography’ project is a similar intervention for the annual book fair in the city of juarez in the mexican state of chihuahua. the requirements were 5,000 soda crates and a group of 30 architecture students to help build the pavilion.
recycled soda carts were used to build the pavilion
assigned a space in the center of the event’s hall, the designers constructed a landscape with the recycled red containers, in which the visitors could utilize it in multiple ways. the installation functioned as benches to sit on, as a threshold that connects the fair isles, an observation platform to see other stands from another perspective, as stairs, a playground for kids, an amphitheater for a concert and as a place to hold a small lecture or conference.
the installation was constructed in the middle of a book fair
serving as a piece of ‘social topography’, people were invited to explore it, and interact with one another. once the fair was over, it was disassembled and the crates were returned to the soda company without generating pollution or residues, minimizing its carbon footprint.
the design offers a place for visitors to sit and watch the surrounding events
the crates were stacked on top of one another
students sitting on the ‘social topography’ project
the crates were taken down after the event and returned
a boy climbing up the installation