'the bottle project' is an experimental workspace for the differently abled in pakistan

'the bottle project' is an experimental workspace for the differently abled in pakistan


‘the bottle project’ uses plastic waste to create training hub


‘the bottle project’ is an experimental intervention led by open door design studio & workshop in the city of karachi, pakistan. the architects were approached by a local NGO that works for the welfare of differently-abled people, in the hopes of creating a semi-open handicraft training facility on their rooftop. as such, the idea was to build an accessible, light, and low-cost structure using sustainable materials. 


karachi is a city built primarily on reclaimed land; hence there are very few local materials to work with. on the other hand, it is a megacity that generates millions of tons of waste daily. with that in mind, the team attempted to use this waste, specifically plastic bottles, to create a screening block wall paired with a light bamboo structure and coconut palm thatch roof.

the bottle project 7
stacking experiment with bottle block I



exploring spatial solutions with bottle block modules


the architects‘ proposed structure is quite simple: a sloping roof and a free-flowing plan aiding the easy movement of wheelchairs and people. the most distinct feature of this intervention is the screen wall made of bottle blocks to provide privacy and visual anchoring. ‘our experiments with the bottle block allowed for multiple playful iterations in the masonry design. the bottles are strengthened with sawdust infill, a byproduct of the furniture industry. the sawdust adds a beautiful visual texture to the bottles, along with increasing their bearing capacity,‘ shares the team. 


the filled bottles are polished with beeswax, then fixed and cast into concrete bases, allowing them to function in a modular way — similar to bricks or concrete blocks. it was also proposed to pair the bottles with terrazzo to create lightweight furniture. ultimately, the architects argue, this design attempts to pause and identify potential resources that can add value to how and what can be built.

the bottle project 8
stacking experiment with bottle block II

the bottle project 9
stacking experiment with bottle block III

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axonometric view of the bottle project model I

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axonometric view of the bottle project model II


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internal view of workspace I, with the bottle blocks acting as screening walls

the bottle project 6
internal view of workspace II, with large overhangs protecting from the harsh sun






project info:


name: the bottle project

location: karachi, pakistan

architecture: open door design studio & workshop

team: shehrebanu noorudin, murtaza noorudin, maha jazim ali, rafiq alvi, rida zaidi




designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lea zeitoun | designboom

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