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Borrowed Building

Felix Baumann

Dutch architects of the bureau SLA and Overtreders W followed the paradigms of the new circular economy by designing the People’s Pavilion in Eindhoven.

The People’s Pavilion in Eindhoven was designed under a radical new approach. (Credits: Filip Dujardin)




Which potentials exist to build sustainably? Surely, constructing energy-efficient structures is one possibility. But what about the materials that are used? Especially temporarily built buildings are doing poorly in this case. A remarkable counterexample was the People’s Pavilion in Eindhoven.

People’s Pavilion: Recycling at its best

Temporarily built for the Dutch Design Week in October 2017, the structure consists of 100% borrowed materials. The Dutch architects of the bureau SLA and Overtreders W developed this innovative approach, which follows the paradigms of the new circular economy. All of the building materials needed to construct the pavilion were borrowed – not only from traditional suppliers, but also from Eindhoven residents.

The 250 square meters  building consist mostly of concrete, wooden beams and plastic cladding. All materials – even the glass roof, glass elements and the lighting – were borrowed and were returned completely unharmed.

Cutting-edge design of People’s Pavilion

Only the striking cladding, on the Pavilion’s upper façade was coloured. The tiles were made from plastic household waste, collected by Eindhoven residents. They were distributed among those residents at the end of the Dutch Design Week. The architects even disclaimed the usage of screws, drills, glue or saws, which lead into an innovative design with new collaborations and construction methods.

While the ecological footprint is insignificant, the physical is special: It is cross-shaped, dividing the interior into four parts. The sections are equipped with seating furniture, while the centre accommodate a stage for performances during the Dutch Design Week.

Materials will be reused after Dutch Design Week

The construction itself consist of twelve concrete piles and nineteen wooden frames which were held together by 350 tensioning straps. Glass and wood materials are mostly in standard dimensions and are leftovers from other buildings.

They will be used again on various projects after the event. Only the coloured plastic cladding of the People’s Pavilion will not have any practical use afterwards. They’ve become keepsakes among the Eindhoven residents who participated in the project.

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