Amsterdam-based design firms Bureau SLA and Overtreders W are transforming plastic waste into new building material.
The two firms work together on a regular basis. When they’re not researching how to upcycle second-hand materials, you can find them at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam, giving new life to that shampoo bottle you threw out last week. Part of the creative team’s working philosophy is, that there’s no such thing as waste, and that every thing can have more functions than the one given to it when it was made. The designers and architects proved that again, when they constructed a coffee bar in Amsterdam’s Noordepark, entirely made out of second-hand materials they acquired from Marktplaats — the Dutch eBay.
The Pretty Plastic Plant project is unique in the sense that the collaboration of architects and designers is producing the construction materials themselves. By upcycling all sorts of plastic waste they can find, they brought about four mini pavilions for the Hogeschool van Amsterdam. The pavilions serve as a meeting and working space for the students. The parts are produced by the pretty plastic plant, an assembly of six machines that sort plastic by colour, wash it, melt it and subsequently turn it into plastic slates and tiles.
The creative collective receives their plastic material from households in Amsterdam or from their campus neighbors, and they are aiming big. Besides creating building materials from plastic and giving educational workshops to children, the designers want to change people’s association with plastic waste for the better and, eventually, create a whole building from plastic waste.