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How to Make a Facade with Recycled Materials: 21 Notable Examples

How to Make a Facade with Recycled Materials: 21 Notable Examples

Cortesía de MAPCortesía de Project.DWG + LOOS.FMCortesía de Wang Shu, Amateur Architecture Studio© Quang Tran+ 43

With the aim of supporting architects to become active agents of sustainable design, this week we present a selection of facades that incorporate different recycled materials. Beyond the typical uses of plastic and glass, in this article, you will find innovative materials such as mattress springs, ice cream containers, plastic chairs, and recycled waste from agricultural and industrial products. A look at 21 remarkable projects using recycled materials to create an attractive facade.

Naju Art Museum / Hyunje Joo

Recycled semi-transparent plastic baskets

Cortesía de MAP
Cortesía de MAP
Cortesía de MAP
Cortesía de MAP

A flexible architectural element rather than a fixed element, this wall consists of 1,500 structural semi-transparent baskets. The surface minimizes the separation between the inside and outside, as light and silhouettes beyond the space show through. Over the course of the day, changes show on the surface of the wall due to the diffusion and reflection of the material. The passage of time is more actively sensed from both inside and outside, as these light effects stimulate our senses. When the building is demolished in 2 years, the baskets can be reused.

Ningbo Historic Museum / Wang Shu, Amateur Architecture Studio

Recycled tiles 

© Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan
Cortesía de Wang Shu, Amateur Architecture Studio
Cortesía de Wang Shu, Amateur Architecture Studio

In Ningbo History Museum, for example, Amateur Architecture Studio designed the façade of the building as if it was the surface of a mountain comprised of massive reinforced concrete walls, partly clad in recycled terracotta and clay tiles. By recycling materials from the demolished buildings that once constituted the existing site, Wang and Lu were trying to recall a past that was almost forgotten. In Wang and Lu's design, the past has been turned into the permanent inner lining of the formwork, providing a randomly decorative coating.

Capilla San Bernardo / Nicolás Campodonico

Recycled bricks from a rural house

Cortesía de Nicolás Campodónico
Cortesía de Nicolás Campodónico
Cortesía de Nicolás Campodónico
Cortesía de Nicolás Campodónico

Located in the Pampa plains, in the east of the province of Cordoba, Saint Bernard's Chapel (the local patron saint) rises in a small grove, originally occupied by a rural house and its yards, both dismantled in order to reuse their materials, especially its one-hundred-year-old bricks. 

Bima Microlibrary / SHAU Bandung

Recycled plastic ice cream containers

© Sanrok Studio
© Sanrok Studio
© Sanrok Studio
© Sanrok Studio

While studying design options of how to arrange 2000 ice cream buckets, we realized that  they could be interpreted as zeros (opened) and ones (closed), thus giving us the possibility to embed a message in the façade in the form of a binary code. We asked the Mayor of Bandung, Ridwan Kamil, a supporter of the project whether he had  a message for the Microlibrary and neighborhood and his message is: “buku adalah jendela dunia”, meaning books are the windows to the world. The message can be read starting from the top left (facing the front) and spirals  down around the perimeter repeatedly. Not only does the facade give additional meaning to the building but the buckets also generate a pleasant indoor light ambiance since they scatter direct sunlight and act as natural light bulbs.

Backyard Cabin / Emerging Objects

Recycled agricultural and industrial waste products

© Matthew Millman
© Matthew Millman
© Matthew Millman
© Matthew Millman

Over 4,500 3D-printed ceramic tiles clad the exterior of the building. The firm is committed to focusing on upcycling agricultural and industrial waste products, and at times its custom materials sound more like tasting notes from a nearby Napa or Sonoma wine. Grape skins, salt, cement, and sawdust, among others, have been integrated into Emerging Objects’ products to create variety among the tiles.

PET pavilion / Project.DWG + LOOS.FM

Recycled plastic bottles 

Cortesía de Project.DWG + LOOS.FM
Cortesía de Project.DWG + LOOS.FM
Cortesía de Project.DWG + LOOS.FM
Cortesía de Project.DWG + LOOS.FM

Using the elevated framework of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House, the structure consists of two monumental slabs in a steel framework. “From floor to ceiling, double-walled transparent corrugated sheets hold over 40,000 plastic bottles,” with bottle caps attached to bottlenecks supporting the system.

Properly Breathing House / H&P Architects

Recycled ceramic bricks

© Nguyen Tien Thanh
© Nguyen Tien Thanh
© Nguyen Tien Thanh
© Nguyen Tien Thanh

Featured in both living and working space, a “properly breathing” house serves as a solution to the quality improvement of used space by creating a natural sense of breathing rhythm in monsoon tropical conditions, which is attributed to the two built-in functions: The Inside and outside. The inside offers many voids while the outside has double-skin facade including the inner layer as all-glass panels; the between as corridor for movement; the outer layer as recycled ceramic bricks (40cmx40cm). 

Vegan House / Block Architects

Recycled windows

© Quang Tran
© Quang Tran
© Quang Tran
© Quang Tran

The owner had hoarded up all the abandoned old things from his friends before brought about the project. They were every kind of furniture such as table, chair, wardrobe, window and lampshade. With a tight budget, the architect wanted to exploit these old things with available ones and new ones to create a fresher place which still keeps traditional values of the former house. The old windows were used as the main material to create a distinctive appearance. These windows have been used in Vietnam for a long time because of its ventilation. They are now rearranged into a new facade with different colors and cover the old facade, wrap it up to the rooftop and create a special attraction, as well as harmonizing with the ancientness of entire area.

China Academy of Arts’ Folk Art Museum / Kengo Kuma & Associates

Recycled tiles from local houses

© Eiichi Kano
© Eiichi Kano
© Eiichi Kano
© Eiichi Kano

Old tiles for both the screen and the roof came from local houses. Their sizes are all different, and that helps the architecture merge into the ground naturally.

Kamikatz Public House / Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP

Recycled windows from abandoned houses

© Nacasa and Partners Inc
© Nacasa and Partners Inc
© Nacasa and Partners Inc
© Nacasa and Partners Inc

To make the pub a local symbol when looking up from the town, the windows comprising fittings from abandoned houses were set eight meters high. We gathered windows that illuminated the town in the past and dedicated our wish that they would serve as a lantern of hope to shine upon the town struggling with a declining population. 

Luxury Pavilion / Fahed + Architects

Recycled bedsprings

Cortesía de Fahed + Architects
Cortesía de Fahed + Architects
Cortesía de Fahed + Architects
Cortesía de Fahed + Architects

A commitment to the environment is at the core of Fahed + Architects philosophy, so it was necessary to create a structure out of 100% recyclable material from the local waste management company, Bee’ah. The outer skin of the pavilion is a mesh of entwined bedsprings that naturally lends itself to an organic form, floating amongst the surrounding buildings.

Head in the Clouds Pavilion / STUDIOKCA

Recycled plastic bottles

© Lesley Chang
© Lesley Chang
© Lesley Chang
© Lesley Chang

Made of 53,780 recycled bottles - the amount thrown away in New York City in only 1 hour - Head in the Clouds is a space where visitors can enter into and contemplate the light and color filtering through the bottles from the inside, out. 

Carroll House / LOT-EK

Recycled shipping containers

© Danny Bright
© Danny Bright
© Danny Bright
© Danny Bright

Carroll House is a single-family residence located in a typical 25x100-feet Brooklyn corner lot. 21 shipping containers are stacked and cut diagonally along top and bottom, generating a monolithic and private volume within the urban fabric.

Collage House / S+PS Architects

Recycled windows and doors of demolished houses

Cortesía de S+PS Architects
Cortesía de S+PS Architects
Cortesía de S+PS Architects
Cortesía de S+PS Architects

The project looks at the idea of recycling and collage in several ways, from the very physical - like materials, energy, etc. to the intangible - like history, space and memories. The front façade sets the tone for what lies within, with a “corner of windows” that recycles old windows and doors of demolished houses in the city. 

The Beehive / Luigi Rosselli + Raffaello Rosselli

Recycled terracotta roof tiles

© Ben Hosking
© Ben Hosking
© Ben Hosking
© Ben Hosking

The project started with the study of material waste streams looking for an appropriate object for a brise-soleil to filter the harsh western sun that the main façade faces. The terracotta tile, an overlooked symbol of suburbia, was chosen as it is easily sourced and without an adequate reuse market. 

Recycled Pallet Pavilion / Avatar Architettura

Recycled pallets

© Avatar Architettura
© Avatar Architettura
© Avatar Architettura
© Avatar Architettura

The office is oriented to identifying design strategies towards ecology, flexible systems, biodiversity, and recycled materials in the urban context. The 100 square meters detachable structure is made up of prefabricated pallets forming an articulated wooden diamond structure.

Storage Barn / Gray Organschi Architecture

Recycled construction materials

© Bo Crockett
© Bo Crockett
© Bo Crockett
© Bo Crockett

The building serves as a dimensionally economical and energy-efficient storage rack for heavy materials, in which tightly packed and palletized stone and wood are stored in a flexible external shelving system that allows access to any pallet in any position on the rack without disturbing others around it.

Rane Vidyalaya School / Shanmugam Associates

Recycled grey fly ash brick

© LINK studio
© LINK studio
© LINK studio
© LINK studio

Construction methodology, that was followed consistently in these walls, was layering starting from huge random rubble and stone at bottom, to finer solid brick work, mud and slate on top. Alternating wall layers of red wire cut bricks from local kiln and grey fly ash brick recycled from industrial cement waste were used.

Chi She / Archi-Union Architects

Recycled grey-green bricks

© Su Shengliang
© Su Shengliang
© Su Shengliang
© Su Shengliang

The external walls of Chi She were built by the recycled grey-green bricks from the old building and constructed with the help of the advanced technology of mechanical arm, which generates a cambered surface morphology, showing the vitality of Chi She.

Bardolph Gardens House / Breathe Architecture

Recycled bricks 

© Tom Ross
© Tom Ross
© Tom Ross
© Tom Ross

Celebrating the prominence of brick materiality in the surrounding context, the recycled brick facade adds value to the streetscape with a simple, contemporary aesthetic. The form and pitch of the roof planes responds to those of its neighbouring houses, homogenising the proposed forms with the neighbourhood character.

Gallery of Furniture / CHYBIK+KRISTOF

Recycled plastic seats

© Lukas Pelech
© Lukas Pelech
© Lukas Pelech
© Lukas Pelech

What we used is a basic form of an interior chair called Vicenza which the supplier delivers on a regular basis. In this case, however, we used black granulate for the outdoors because it is resistant to different weather conditions, especially UV light.

This article is part of the ArchDaily Topic: Recycled Materials. Every month we explore a topic in-depth through articles, interviews, news, and projects. Learn more about our monthly topics here. As always, at ArchDaily we welcome the contributions of our readers; if you want to submit an article or project, contact us.

About this author
Cite: María Francisca González. "How to Make a Facade with Recycled Materials: 21 Notable Examples" [¿Cómo hacer una fachada con materiales reciclados? 21 proyectos ejemplares] 31 Jul 2020. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/896930/how-to-make-a-facade-with-recycled-materials-16-notable-examples> ISSN 0719-8884
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© Lukas Pelech

21个再生材料外立面表皮建筑,展现重复的美学力量

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