Architecture is not always about aesthetics and function. When it comes to sustainable design which is one of the small actions to preserve our mother nature, architects are supposed to become the active agents to help campaign for sustainable design. One way to support sustainable design is by doing a recycling program. If we talk about “can architecture recycle?” the answer is definitely yes!
So how can architecture "Recycle"?
Recycle can be used in a couple of terms. As in architecture, recycling the natural gifts from the earth such as the natural lighting and natural air is one of a process. If you are wondering how can we recycle those gifts? Well, it can start from the design concept. In architecture, a passive design is a common strategy used in a building. With passive design strategies in a building, it can help reduce the use of electricity such as light and air-conditioners by replacing them with natural lighting and air from huge voids or ventilation.
There is also a variety of material choices used in a building to support the recycling concept. Beyond the typical materials we meet daily such as brick, concrete, PVC, glass, and many more. There are actually a lot more materials around us that we underestimate sometimes but it can be recycled into innovative materials.
Let us introduce you to some innovative unthinkable façade materials that were recycled from products that we can easily meet in our surroundings.
Recycled semi-transparent plastic baskets
We all can easily found these baskets in supermarkets or traditional markets. But most of the time we only look at them as a basket for fruits or vegetable containers, and when they are empty, they will either be thrown away or stored back to the supplier which is then used to pack another new fruit or vegetable. But how about a façade made from those plastic baskets? Innovative enough? Oh, sure it does! And as the materials is a nonsolid, it also does supports the passive design strategy.
Recycled plastic ice cream containers
An ice cream container as a façade? Why not! In Bandung, we can found a micro library with high sustainability value. The façade was made from an ice cream container. The containers were placed and arranged based on their concept and they also scatter direct sunlight to the building and act as a natural lightbulb.
Have you ever seen a façade covered only by windows? A rectangular-shaped windows – windows? Yes! The windows used in the façade is an abandoned window from the owner old friends. The windows itself has its traditional values, it has been used for a long time in Vietnam because of its ventilation. The architect of this building wanted to exploit old things to create a fresher place with traditional values, so the recycle windows concept idea was then implemented and is colored with multiple colors. Not only in the facade, these recycled colorfull windows is also applied in the interior as decorative walls
Recycled metals / steels
Who says that a rusted metal means that it will never again be useful? well, for some contexts like roof metal, when it get rusty means that we should replace them with the new one. But do you know that scrap metals can be processed into building materials that turns out giving an aesthetic looks? Take a look at cicendo square, located in Bandung. It also is known as a steel plaza, a public space where most of the buildings in it uses rusted steels and it still looking aestheticly pleasing isn't it.
A normal size sitting chair as a facade? isn't this amazing? It was once a car showroom build in the 90s, with poor aesthetic quality. But now, it has turned into this amazing and easy remember facade, made up of 900 black plastic seats. Giving a new and very outstanding look to the building. So if your home furniture happens to be broken, don't throw them away, just in case you can recycle them into something useful and perhaps out of the box!