In the suburbs of Hanover, a curious client and an innovative architecture office have invented the first “100% second-hand” housing. Conclusion: yes, we can build ANYTHING from recycled materials.
Designing a new building with reused elements requires several conditions :
- finding the materials in an appropriate condition and in sufficient quantity
- these reused materials must meet current technical and environmental standards
- finding a builder who will agree to work in such an unconventional way.
The existing housing stock is, however, an immense reservoir of raw materials for construction. We can no longer overlook their reuse. The project designed in Hanover is a creation of the international office Cityförster, which specialises in strategic planning, international development projects and experimental, resource-friendly and recyclable constructions.
Everything can be used again
Each reused material tells a story. For example, the backsplash for the sinks was made from old bottle caps. Most of the facade materials come from buildings owned by the builder, which were about to be destroyed or transformed, such as the strips of glass that now sparkle on the facade, and which were salvaged from a former paint shop that had just been demolished. The wall insulation is made from old hessian bags.
This house, made of 100% recycled and recyclable materials, could become the prototype of the construction industry of the future. This comes down to reversing the idea of architecture: instead of designing what you want and then ordering the appropriate materials, you first look for the materials and design from there. What we call “design by ability”, a new way of rethinking the management of our resources in the future.