Up close, it's probably readily apparent that the University of Brighton's new "Waste House" is made entirely from recycled material ("garbage" if you want to be frank about it; "rubbish" if you want to sound British), but that's exactly the point. BBM Architects created the research facility and workshop with the help of Brighton undergraduates, and not only declared it the U.K.'s first entirely trash-based permanent building, but designed it specifically to showcase the assemblage of oddly specific and occasionally gnarly-sounding waste that went into it. As Gizmodo notes, what's on display isn't nicely recycled plastic or artisinal driftwood. Used carpet tiles cover the walls, blast-furnace slag makes up the foundation, and the roof is finished with rubber from discarded tires. Where insulating materials like old floppy disks, toothbrushes, and VHS tapes would be hidden, the team of volunteers and students installed glass panels to put them on display.
Of course, any fan of garbage-based adaptive reuse projects knows that they're only as good as their lists of materials are mind-boggling. In that vein, the long list of items that comprises the Waste House includes 19,800 toothbrushes, 2 metric tons of denim scraps, 200 rolls of wallpaper, 4,000 VHS tapes, 4,000 DVD cases, 600 sheets of second-hand plywood, 500 bicycle inner tubes, 600 vinyl banners, 2,000 used carpet tiles, and 10 metric tons of chalk.
As architect Duncan Baker-Brown explained to Dezeen, this upcycled collection of junk was all about proving that "you can build something with other people's stuff, and that you can make a permanent building out of rubbish. There have been a lot of other projects where people have built sheds or temporary things out of rubbish, but to get full building regulations and planning approval is a first." The finished building will serve as a combined research center and teaching tool for students from the university's Sustainable Design course, as well as a community center.
· All adaptive reuse coverage [Curbed National]
· Waste House by BBM is "UK's first permanent building made from rubbish" [Dezeen via Gizmodo]
· These Happy Mobile Dwellings Are Actually Made of Trash [Curbed National]
· Watch an Ace Short Film About Austin's 'Cathedral of Junk' [Curbed National]
· This Old Spaniard is Still Building a Cathedral Out of Junk [Curbed National]