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Recycled Paper Surprisingly Finds Use as Building Material


paper-houseAlthough it is quite common to see recycled paper put to use in the making of items like jewellery or wallpaper, it is quite surprising to find it being used as the sole building material in an actual building. This is exactly what has been achieved in the construction of a temporary workspace in Germany. The structure which covers 2,045 square feet and is located at Essen, was made from 550 bales of paper.

The architects behind the building are Daniel and Ben Dratz of Berlin-based Dratz&Dratz Architekten. They were awarded a contract to put up a new building using $200,000 granted to them by the Zollverein School of Management and Design in Essen.

The chosen site was a mining area which also turns out to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As part of the construction process, the architects played with bales of recycled paper which they got from grocery stores in the area, by compressing and stacking them. The eventual structure was surprisingly well-insulated and was also quick-drying in spite of incessant rain.

paper-house-2Speaking with Inhabitat, Daniel admitted that inspiration for the project came by pure chance when they once passed in the area of a recycling plant and saw the bales of paper, which they found to be fascinating. They were later to find out upon experimentation that these could be stacked to make walls – the birth of their architectural project.

Despite the fact that the bales of paper may not look that good, since they can be piled upwards of 100 feet, the architects are really hopeful that further research may pave the way for the bales of recycled paper to be put to more permanent and practical uses.

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