The project was done for an annual 3 day SACES workshop organised by the Society of Architecture and Civil Engineering Students at the University of Malta. Building something out of waste material was the most instinctive thing to do.
Which we did, but we also wanted to encapsulate an other intangible waste; The waste of ideas from self-inhibition (shame, shyness, distrust)
Used plastic bottles were utilized as a way to contain and store ideas written down on paper; using the concept of the message in a bottle.
On the site of the workshop we found a discarded steel frame previously used as “Monkey bars” in an abandoned playground.
We found this steelframe to be ideal to hold these thoughts and ideas together as one monumental body. Furthermore these ‘monkey bars’ reminds in the act of play, an action were self-inhibition is pushed aside for creativity and individualism to get loose.
The project was used as an interactive sculpture where visitors would go around/below/inside the steel frame, choose their desired bottle and white down whatever thought they feel like to go out in the open. Approximately 480 bottles were used. The translucency of the material made it possible to be used at night as a lantern, attracting more visitors during the night.
A thirteen-meters high Christmas Tree placed in the town square in Kaunas was assembled from 32 000 PET bottles attached together with cable ties. The author is an artist Jolanta Smidtienė, who is dealing with the christmas decorations of the town for longer time want to create something different each year.
The energy saved for the material was used for the lighting of the tree, where 40 000 light bulbs were installed. Nevertheless, the message of the artificial Christmas tree is obvious: Let’s think about ecology and our own consumption at least during the Christmas time!
The floating geodesic dome Rising Moon was designed for the autumn festival “lantern wonderland” 2013 in Victoria Park in Hong Kong by the local architecture firm named Daydreamers. The dome has a 20 meter diameter, and for the surface covering 4800 five gallon (22,7 liter) polycarbonate water containers were used. These containers were mounted into a network of electric sockets with LED lighting. The sphere’s surface was triangulated – each triangle carried about 28 water containers. The main structure is a steel rod frame. The bottles were chosen for their resemblance with traditional Chinese beacon-shaped lanterns. In the interior of the dome 2300 regular PET bottles are suspended from the ceiling providing the effect of the sea. Since the pavilion is floating, the whole appears to be a complete sphere because of the reflection of the water. By manipulating the LED lights, multiple phases of the moon can be simulated on the surface – hence the name of the pavilion. Additionally in the top of the pavilion there is an opening in the roof which allows the real moonlight pass through the pavilion. According to Daydreamers architects, the whole building can be de-assembled and the parts (bottles) recycled.
Head in the clouds is a pavilion built on the occasion of figment’s 2013 ‘city of dreams art celebration’ in New York. The sculpture was assembled by Jason Klimoski and Wesley Chang from KCA architects, who needed 53,780 recycled plastic bottles and milk containers – this amount is consumed in NYC in about 1 hour. While the milk jugs form the exterior cloud visually, the interior is created from smaller 16 and 24 ounce PET bottles filled with blue colour water evocating the feeling of being in the middle of a cloud. This all is held up with an aluminium frame. The structure can shelter approximately 50 people. The installation ran for approximately 2 months from february 2013.
The Eco Ark built by MINIWIZ in Taiwan is a building of which the façade and walls are filled with non-load bearing PET bottles. The Eco Ark is a very large building intended originally for the 2010 Taipei International Flora Expo (its length is 130 meters and width 40 meters, the height is 85 metres). Because of the size, public function, and safety requirements filling the façade and walls of such a building with regular PET bottles is hardly possible because it cannot be proven that these requirements will be met. Instead, in the Eco Ark specially developed PET bottles by MiniWIZ Sustainable Energy Development were used – the so-called POLLI-brick. The POLLI-brick is a PET bottle with a highly specific new interlocking shape. It is produced from recycled PET bottles – these are washed, cut, and re-melted into granules that form the base material for the POLLI brick. To create all the required POLLI bricks for the Eco Ark, in total 1.8 million PET bottles were recycled.
The building is designed by Arthur Huang, a graduate of Taiwan and Harvard. The building is supposed to withstand fire and the prevailing strong winds. It is also supposed to cost a third of the regular cost and weigh half of usual construction weight. To add additional stability to the wall fill-in, The POLLI bricks need to be glued with a small amount of silicon between the bottles.
Jasmine Zimmerman created an open-roofed spherical house which measures 12 x 12 x 6 feet (3.6 x 3.6 x 1.8 meter) created out of thousands of PET bottles. With this structure she wanted to point out the fact that Americans waste over 30 billion of PET bottles a year, only 10% of which are recycled.
The structure is created by glueing PET bottles together with hot glue pistol (which by the way renders the bottles unrecyclable in any normal fashion). As an object for raising awareness it can be considered successful however, because she made two installations at festivals (Bumbershoot and City Sol Festival in New York) where people themselves actually added their disposable PET bottles to the structure. In that way the structure grew in an almost organic fashion and people were more directly confronted with the waste issue.
The Trash temple is constructed out of a number of blocks which are actually pressed bales of millions of PET bottles. The temple was designed by Salzig Design. The structure won second prize at the International Ideas Competition at Folly Dock 2007.
The temple was seven meters high, 10 meters wide, and has a circumference of about 25 meters. Visitors could climb up to the top and also enter the structure on ground level. The idea was that in this place where they could perceive the smell of the garbage they would understand the uselessness of overproduction. The structure was surrounded by thousands of sunflowers that marked the footpaths and added symmetry to the place of contemplation.
(POP)Culture shelter is a project by Garth Britzmann who intended to create a canopy shading device above a parking lot. 1581 empty soda bottles of 20oz (0.6 liters) were filled with a small amount of colored water. The basic structure of the canopy is a frame structure. The bottles are attached by strings. It took 27 volunteers 12,5 days to connect the bottles to the strings and erect the final construction. The object stood on site for three months. It was demolished because it was discovered that mold had formed in the bottles.
The projects’ geometry was created with the use of 3D modelling software Rhinoceros with scripting in Grasshopper plug-in for this program. First the surface was designed, and after that the length of the strings was derived, and also the color of the water for the bottles, which was related to the height from the plane.
TrussFab isan integrated end-to-end system that allows users to fabricate large scale structures that are sturdy enough to carry human weight. TrussFab achieves the large scale by complementing 3D print with plastic bottles.
Unlike previous systems that stacked bottles as if they were “bricks”, TrussFab considers them as beams and uses them to form structurally sound node link structures based on closed triangles, also known as trusses. TrussFab embodies the required engineering knowledge, allowing non-engineers to design such structures.
While freestanding bottles tend to break easily, truss structures essentially consist of triangles. In such an arrangement, it is the structure that prevents de-formation, not the individual bottle. The main strength of trusses is that they turn lateral forces (aka bending moments) into tension and compression forces along the length of the edges (aka members). Bottles make great members: while they buckle easily when pushed from the side, they are very strong when pushed or pulled along their main axis. TrussFab affords building trusses by combining tetrahedra and octahedra into so-called tetrahedral honeycomb structures.
TrussFab is an integrated end-to-end system that allows users to fabricate large structures that are sturdy enough to carry human weight on desktop 3D printers. Unlike previous systems that built on up-cycled plastic bottles combined with 3D print, TrussFab considers bottles not as “bricks”, but as beams that form structurally sound node link structures also known as trusses, allowing users to handle the forces resulting from scale and load. TrussFab embodies the required engineering knowledge, allowing non-engineers to design such structures and allows users to validate their designs using integrated structural analysis.
In order to experiment with vault structures incorporating PET bottles, the study object Aquaducto Romano was built by the Foundation Ecopark Zamorano in Honduras. A copy of a Roman aquaduct, multiple methods of building and more than ten different mixtures of mortar (mixtures of cement, earth, and lime) are tested in this object.
Froeses’ work has found a lot of application all over the world, and can be found from Honduras and Mexico to Nigeria, India, and other countries.