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.
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.
The project of United Bottle was developed by Dirk Hebel, Tobias Klauser and Jörg Stollmann. It is a PET water bottle and a building unit at the same time, which can be normally recycled. It can be distributed in six-packs on containers and collected in plastic waste containers. This makes the bottle suitable for application in catastrophy-hit regions where both drinking water and building material are scarce and in need. The bottle can be used repeatedly for water storage, but there is also a second use: it can be filled with heavy material such as sand and dirt, and then used as a brick. It can also be left empty and used as a building element for a light-weight structure such as an indoor pavilion.
The concept of United Bottle is intended to solve both the garbage problem and the housing need for areas destroyed by hurricane or tsunami. The bottles can be used to build stable walls for temporary and long term shelter – these structures can be covered by tents or other membrane structures. The pieces lock into each other which gives additional stability and resistance to torsion. In 2007 the first prototype of the United Bottle was 3D printed by stereolithography.