Plastic represents a bit of a nodus for the world: as useful as the material is, it can be take a toll on the environment when it isn’t disposed of correctly. Miniwiz, a company founded by architect and structural engineers Arthur Huang and JarvisLiu, is trying to find easier, more practical solutions for recycling and reusing materials like plastic that often times find their way into landfills or the environment.
Take the EcoArk Pavilion in Taipei, for example, which uses 1.5 million recycled plastic bottles throughout its design.
The nine-story structure represents the first fully functional, public building made of Polli-Brick, a building material made from 100% recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate Polymer. It is translucent, naturally insulated, and durable and uses a 3D honeycomb self-interlocking structure that eliminates the need for chemical adhesives. Polli-Brick is extremely lightweight and is just 1/5 the weight of standard curtain wall systems.
The EcoArk Pavilion uses Polli-Brick throughout its public spaces, which cover an area the size of size basketball courts. These public spaces are kept cool thanks to a combination of natural ventilation, an exterior waterfall that bathes the structure in water collected during rainstorms, and Polli-Brick’s high insulation properties. The building also uses embedded solar power to run the LED lighting systems at night. All of these aspects mean the building operates with a zero-carbon footprint.
Despite weighing 50% less than a conventional building, the EcoArk Pavilion is fire-resistant and strong enough to withstand high winds.
Originally constructed in 2010 for the Taipei International Flora Exposition, the structure has since been converted into a public museum.