In Mexico, 40 million used tires are thrown away each year and only 12% are recycled. Tires are a difficult waste product to address, due to the sheer volume produced as well as their durability and the components within tires that are bad for the environment. According to specialists, in Mexico about 5 million tires are recycled in organic products and in the cement industry.
Reuse: The Latest Architecture and News
In New York, activists and professionals have been working for many years to try to save 10 decommissioned tanks, from demolition by putting forward alternative usage of these structures. Partnering with STUDIO V, an architectural firm and landscape architects Ken Smith Workshop, they came up with an inventive proposal that reimagines these industrial relics as a 21st-century park, a novelty in the traditional definition and configuration of public spaces.
Kengo Kuma uses materials to connect with the local context and the users of his projects. The textures and elementary forms of constructive systems, materials, and products, are exhibited and used in favor of the architectural concept, giving value to the functions that will be carried out in each building.
From showcases made with ceramic tiles to the sifted light created by expanded metal panels, passing through an ethereal polyester coating, Kuma understands the material as an essential component that can make a difference in architecture from the design stages. Next, we present 21 projects where Kengo Kuma masterfully uses construction materials.
The need to substantially reduce our impact on the planet must be translated into a significant change to our lifestyle and habits. One of these is to consume responsibly and consider that waste does not exist, but that all material can be transformed into something useful again following a circular ecological system.
In his book Upcycling Wood, Reutilización creativa de la madera, the architect and artist Bruno Sève writes and edits a non-exhaustive guide of the uses and possibilities of recovered wood, as a framework for responsible reuse; from small scale, such as furniture or artists' canvases, to medium scale, with its use in interiors and facades. This book seeks to raise awareness among professionals and citizens in general through analysis of the life cycle, examples of uses and finishing processes, leading to an ecological and responsible framework. The book is illustrated by numerous design and architecture teams who follow the guidelines of ecological design with reclaimed wood.
Vincent Callebaut Architectures has envisioned a radical underwater colony for "climate change refugees" 3D printed from recycled materials taken from the ocean's floating garbage patches. This particular proposal of "oceanscrapers" is sited off the shore of Rio de Janeiro. It's aim is to provide a sustainable habitat with 10,000 housing units, office and work space, sea farms, gardens, community orchards and much more, while fostering marine life.
Across industrial North America, many small working class cities are faced with a plethora of abandoned property due to the downfall of the automotive industry. The prolific ruins of the largest abandoned factory in North America, Detroit's Packard Motor Plant, have served as an emblem for dozens of similar plants dotting the landscapes of cities across the continent. In 2010, shortly after the beginning of the global economic crisis, Chrysler closed a sprawling engine factory in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The factory has since been demolished and is now at the beginning of a five-year cleanup. Located adjacent to a densely populated suburban development, the 107-acre property begs the question: what can be done with such a massive piece of land?
In response to Kenosha's Chrysler problem, a team of urbanists, architects and researchers known as Urban Design for Everyone (UD4U) launched a global competition to reinvigorate the former industrial property. Proposals had to take the adjacent neighborhoods into consideration, with the ultimate goal of bridging gaps between disparate communities at opposite ends of the property. The winning proposals range widely from a stylized village of housing, to the creation of enormous urban farms, to the construction of an innovation park featuring a series of vast artificial lakes. After receiving 43 entries from 17 countries, a jury of local architects selected three exceptional proposals and five honorable mentions. Find out what the teams proposed after the break.
The design/buildLAB at the Virginia Tech School of Architecture + Design has recently released a new documentary by Leon Gerskovic titled Reality Check, a film that chronicles the journey of 16 students as they undergo the design and construction of their Masonic Amphitheatre in Clifton Forge, Virginia. The project was a complete redevelopment of a post-industrial brownfield into a public park and performance space; the video relates how students collaborated with local community and industry experts to bring meaningful architecture to this struggling American rail town.
Shigeru Ban just can’t get enough of paper tubes. The Japanese architect, renowned for his design of structures that can be quickly and inexpensively erected in disaster zones, is at it again in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand, which was hit hard by a devastating earthquake last February. The earthquake of magnitude 6.3 killed over 200 people and inflicted irreparable damage on the city’s iconic gothic cathedral of 132 years. The cathedral was a copy of one in Oxford, England, and was one of the most famous landmarks of the Christchurch, pictured on postcards, souvenirs and tea towels.
A pioneer in so-called “emergency architecture,” Shigeru Ban has begun construction on a highly anticipated, unique replacement: a simple A-frame structure composed of paper tubes of equal length and 20 foot containers. The tubes will be coated with waterproof polyurethane and flame retardants that the architect has been developing since 1986 - years before environmental friendliness and the use of inexpensive recycled materials were even a concern in architecture.
Read more about Ban's visionary Cardboard Cathedral after the break...
Cook County, Illinois, recently brought the elimination of construction waste to a new level by creating the first demolition debris ordinance in the Midwest. This groundbreaking ordinance requires most of the debris created from demolition to be recycled and reused instead of being sent to the landfill. The ordinance helps contribute to Cook County’s zero waste goal, part of the Solid Waste Plan Update.
The new law states that at least 7 percent of suburban construction and demolition debris must be recycled, and an additional 5 percent must be reused on residential properties. This new legislation will have a great impact as it affects about 2.5 million suburban Cook County residents.
More after the break...