as part of a conceptual project titled ‘new wave’, ulf mejergren architects (UMA) proposes to use recycled plastic bottles from the ocean to construct an art school in mexico. by using the discarded objects to create the façade of the building, the design team intends to set a positive example to the local community. as mexico currently generates half a million tons of plastic waste that ends up in the sea each year, the project aims to show what can be achieved by recycling plastic bottles.
images courtesy of UMA
the expressive waves concieved by UMA are meant to peak the curiosity of passersby and offer an inspiring environment for kids to thrive in, while also serving as a stark reminder of where the bottles are taken from. the system is comprised of plastic bottles that are pierced through rebar that are erected in a concrete trench, appearing almost like a tall fence during its first stage of construction.
view of the façade
the plastic bottles with drilled holes in the bottom are pierced on each rebar, and then the rebars are bent into the desired position to form waves. each reinforced unit can accommodate an extra layer of bottles on each side, closing the wave. the bottles close to the ground are filled with cement or sand to ensure stability and each rebar is also attached to a wall or a slab in mid-air.
interior view of a classroom
the bottles are painted in a gradient of blue-cyan-white. the waves are also more than a great backdrop as they provide shelter from rain and the sun, and in some places they can also be used for seating and tables. in essence, by creating such a literal form, the project aims to highlight how plastic is damaging our marine environment and how it can be used and recycled in architecture.
diagram of the façade system
plans and axonometric view
project name: ‘new wave’
design: ulf mejergren architects (UMA)
edited by: lynne myers | designboom
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