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WOBO

December 7, 2008
built from beer bottles

temple built from beer bottles

(from GreenUpgrader) Thai monks from the Sisaket province have used over one million recycled glass bottle to construct their Buddhist temple. Mindfulness is at the center of the Buddhist discipline and the dedication and thoughtfulness required to build everything from the toilets to their crematorium from recycled bottles shows what creativity and elbow grease can accomplish. (view more shots of the temple)

exterior wall of the temple

exterior wall of the temple

(from Inhabitat) [T]he idea of turning waste into useful products came to life brilliantly in 1963 with the Heineken WOBO (world bottle). Envisioned by beer brewer Alfred Heineken and designed by Dutch architect John Habraken, the “brick that holds beer” was ahead of its ecodesign time, letting beer lovers and builders alike drink and design all in one sitting.

Mr. Heineken’s idea came after a visit to the Caribbean where he saw two problems: beaches littered with bottles and a lack of affordable building materials. The WOBO became his vision to solve both the recycling and housing challenges that he had witnessed on the islands.

a bottle that can be used as a brick

Wobo: a bottle that could be used as a brick

The final WOBO design came in two sizes – 350 and 500 mm versions that were meant to lay horizontally, interlock and layout in the same manner as ‘brick and mortar’ construction. One production run in 1963 yielded 100,000 bottles some of which were used to build a small shed on Mr. Heineken’s estate in Noordwijk, Netherlands. One of the construction challenges “was to find a way in which corners and openings could be made without cutting bottles,” said Mr. Habraken. (read more about the story of wobo including more pics…)

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 10, 2008 12:28 am

    MIchael…this is amazing! Where do you find this stuff? Maybe you should consider building a studio/gazebo/coach house out of recycled Heineken bottles. Finally, somebody is using their head!

    Hope you’re well young man.

    xx, D

  2. December 10, 2008 2:37 pm

    Actually i’m trying to figure out how to get a brewery to manufacture the WOBO again, that would be interesting. But think of all the possibilities of even a regular beer bottle…

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