ReSpace: Designing with Salvaged Materials

I was intrigued by this “pop-up,” mobile, modular library in Stadtgarten, Cologne, Germany for its combination of books, color, unique materials and parkscape location. Can we get more of these?

You may have heard of Habitat for Humanity’s ReStores that sell salvaged building materials and fixtures. Some stores even offer deconstruction programs with the ability to disassemble entire houses and save as much re-usable material as possible. But, have you heard of Habitat for Humanity of Wake County, North Carolina’s ReSpace design competition? The challenge was to “design a small, unique, and transportable structure with reuse materials at the core, from concept to construction.” The Grand Prize Winning design will be constructed in a 48-hour build by Habitat for Humanity (HfH) volunteers and then sold to benefit the local HfH program. This program has the ability to raise awareness about the beauty of re-use materials and showcase some very creative designs. The top prize went to a minimalist wood structure with one wall made of reclaimed glass bottles that the judges felt could create constantly changing textures and colors. I wish every city would do something like this (reuse-design-build-display). My only concern is that the constructed design will be purchased by an individual when it really should be showcased in a public park [or university] setting like a mobile, modular library I saw in a park in Cologne, Germany this spring.

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