Designers build beastly tower out of recycled tires

Matt Ritani and Declan Burn
© Matt Ritani and Declan Burn

The world would change drastically if "waste" was no longer seen as such in industries like manufacturing and building, and materials are re-used, instead of discarded. Tires are one example: over 300 million are thrown out in the United States per year, though there initiatives afoot to change this in architecture (earthships), manufacturing (rubber logs, mulch) and technology (car batteries).

In a whimsical demonstration how tires can be recycled into a building material, postgraduate students of Victoria University in Wellington created this winning architectural folly, as part of a contest held for the Brick Bay Sculpture Trail near Matakana, New Zealand.

© Matt Ritani and Declan Burn

There's something endearing about this huge, hairy figure. Seen over at Dezeen, here old rubber tires were cut and layered to form a shaggy coat of sorts, for their winning sculpture, which they nicknamed "Belly of the Beast." The designers explain:

Jeremy Till wrote that all architecture is building waste in transit. In the interest of sustainability, it was important for us to situate the construction of the folly within a process of future assemblies, meaning the folly is a temporary material state for what will transform into other plausible uses.

© Matt Ritani and Declan Burn
© Matt Ritani and Declan Burn
© Matt Ritani and Declan Burn

Prefabricated in five modular pieces off-site, and then assembled with a crane, the 12-metre (39.3-foot) tower is covered with these recycled tire shingles, giving it a distinctive character in the larger landscape. The interior is painted a bright red to contrast with its black exterior, and upon entry, one sees a seating area outfitted with a barbecue. Smoke from the interior can escape from the tapered top.

© Matt Ritani and Declan Burn
© Matt Ritani and Declan Burn

The sculpture is intended to be "vague" in its cultural references, but according to Ritani and Burns, the tower could allude to "Kahu tōī (Maori Flax Cloaks), a furry beast, the existing Brick Bay tower and Eva Hesse’s Accession series amongst other readings." But ultimately, it is a "strange abandoned abstract object" that is open to many interpretations.

© Matt Ritani and Declan Burn

Once the installation is dismantled in a year's time, the tires will be re-used once again: they will be shredded and donated to a nearby horse-riding school to be used for their flooring in the dressage arenas. It's a great way to keep recycling a durable material, and to add more value, rather than wasting it. More over at Matt Ritani and Declan Burn, Brick Bay Sculpture Trail and Dezeen.

Tags: New Zealand | Recycled Building Materials | Recycled Consumer Goods

WHAT'S HOT ON FACEBOOK

treehugger slideshows