Reflective Metal Bricks Illuminate The Darkest Streets In Argentina

The narrow streets in the Caacupé neighbourhood of Buenos Aires are notorious for being far too dark. French designer, Nathanaël Abeille, teamed up with Argentinian architect, Francisco Ribero, to find a way to brighten these routes using solar light.

In an effort to use natural sunlight to make the neighbourhood more livable, the team studied the sun’s movement throughout the day. After experimenting with various materials, they designed a brick that reflects the sunlight to brighten and connect communities with light beams.

At first glance, these bricks look like solid metal. However, it’s the chrome and nickel coating that give the reflective finish on common, inexpensive bricks. When strategically placed, they are able to reflect natural light from one building to another. These reflections created bright spots along the dark alley they were testing on, providing a source of light for those passing through.

The project has been discontinued after an unsuccessful crowdsourcing campaign. However, it can be looked upon as a source of inspiration, shedding light on how neighbourhoods can brighten streets without the use of electricity.