Pallets for People: A Cheap and Ubiquitous Building Material (Roundup)

pallet house on dock venice photo
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A few years back, Schnetzer Andreas Claus and Pils Gregor won the Gaudi European Student design competition with the Pallet House, assembled from 800 pallets. it was a hit at the 2008 Venice Architecture Biennale.

pallet house at night photo

Pallets are ubiquitous, cheap and everywhere. The designers are now working in South Africa with the Ithuba Skills College to develop a pallet design that will cost about US$ 11 per square foot to build.

TreeHugger has shown numerous pallet designs before; we round up a few to demonstrate the flexibility and possibilities.

Recycling Pallets into Art and Architecture

pallet at night photo

Preston at Jetson Green tells us that there are about TWO BILLION pallets in circulation around the globe, and about two thirds of them are only used once. In America alone, about four billion board-feet of wood pallets are thrown away every year.

HDR Architecture, a monster architecture- engineering firm and surprising source, came up with Unit Load_Redux, a temporary exhibit built from pallets and bicycles.

Sleek Recycled Pallets Furniture to Improve Work of Cooperative in Brazil

pallet table photo

Revale is a project by Brazilian studio Design Simples, aimed to improve the work and life of the Unindo Forças woodwork cooperative in Vale do Sol (Barueri, Sao Paulo).

With the idea to provide the conditions for the cooperative to compete with higher quality goods, the studio designed these stunning pieces of furniture with the material the group uses for its work: recycled pallets.

Skiers Take Break in Pavilion Built of Recycled Pallets

ski pallet building photo

Matthias Loebermann and Partner built this pavilion for the World Ski Championships in 2005 with architecture students from the University of Biberach. It is built from 1300 pallets and 20 tie rods to hold it together.

Theater Made From Recycled Pallets by Oudendijk and Korbes

theatre made from pallets photo

Have we mentioned that we love pallets?

This theatre in Amsterdam was designed out of them by Denis Francois Oudendijk and Jan Korbes, known to TreeHugger for hisGarbage Architecture.

Pallet-House: Modular Refugee Housing

ibeam pallet house photo

Today we learnt of a proposal by I-Beam Design called The Pallet-House, which uses wooden shipping pallet as a modular construction material.

New York based designers Azin Valy and Suzan Wines originally developed the concept as transitional housing for the returning refugees of Kosovo. 'The competition guidelines defined transitional housing as that which bridges the gap between temporary tent shelter and permanent home. They stipulated that the house last about five years, the time it takes a Kosovar family to rebuild a typical stone house.'

Pallet-House System - Triangular and Cubic Dwelllings

Pallet house system photo

The PHS project's angle is different from I-Beam Design's in that they are focusing more on affordable accommodation than emergency housing. PHS are tapping into the economic and environmental benefits of using 'disused materials' and self building, attracting people who would like to own their own house, but can't afford to buy through the normal route. They tell us that 'the Pallet House© emerges as a manifesto against overpackaged architecture, exploring the essential use of elemental frame models, applied mainly in urban and rural contexts.'

Chairs from the Brit Insurance Designs of the Year Show

studiomama chair photo

Bonnie says: Pallets are the new new and for good reason: they are sustainable, recycled, and make use of discarded packaging. The interesting part of these very basic but serviceable chairs is that they can be ordered online for a mere £10 ( $US 15) and the instructions downloaded. In addition, unemployed workers in a slum of Buenos Aires are making them in a furniture co-operative. Give them a prize.

Homeless Chateau: A Little Privacy

homeless chateau image

In New York City a lot of artists live in warehouses, almost in boxes; James Westwater tries to make it greener and more comfortable with his Homeless Chateau. It is designed to be used inside, but provides some privacy and security. He says that it has "cooking and toilet facilities" but both are pretty sketchy in a small unventilated space.

Modern Manifesto House Made From Wood Pallets and Shipping Containers

Manifesto house photo

Nosing 'round the Net, there are a couple of pallet designs that TreeHugger missed, like the Modern Manifesto House. Bridgette Inhabitat caught it and writes:

While not totally prefabricated, the Manifesto House by Infiniski utilizes pre-made materials like shipping containers and wooden pallets to create a totally rad modern house. Infiniski's mission is to build homes cheaply and quickly using sustainable materials while incorporating renewable energy systems. They have many designs already available, which can be interchanged and easily modified.

Wood Pallets Repurposed into Modular Furniture

pallet furniture photo

Also from Inhabitat: Swiss designer Sibylle Stoeckl has come up with a new way to repurpose old and discarded wood pallets. In a series called Le Cageot, Stoeckl takes standard crates and turns them into modular pieces which can be combined and stacked into a variety of shapes and sizes. The unfinished wood also makes an ideal canvas for a little bit of color and creativity, and the raw yet refined look will provide the perfect compliment to any room.

Pallet Barn Updates by Hive Modular

hive modular pallet barn image

Preston of Jetson Green shows us the Pallet Barn by Paul Stankey of Hive Modular.