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New European Bauhaus


Have you heard of the concept "design by availability"? 

© European Union, 2021

Have you heard of the concept "design by availability"?

The concept encapsulates a novel way of thinking about contemporary architecture: use accessible construction materials and resources to design a building around them.

Recyclinghaus from Hanover created an experimental house using this circular process. The building was planned and built in a cycle-oriented and resource-saving manner, using reused, recycled, and recyclable components.

The proposal is part of the submissions for the 2021 New European Bauhaus award prizes in "Buildings renovated in a spirit of circularity."

Following the "form follows availability" approach, a prototype that evaluates the capabilities and potential of several types of recycling in natural laboratory results in a one-of-a-kind house with distinct aesthetics.

From cradle to cradle was another strategy used to design the house. 

Designers questioned and reimagined the entire construction process to reduce grey energy and other harmful environmental effects, such as resource savings during manufacturing.

Details and techniques were not standardised, but were created specifically for this project.

On the one hand, the Recyclinghaus is built of recyclable materials, such as a raw structure consisting of glue-free solid locally sourced wood elements with a high decomposability.

On the other hand, the materials, such as the foundation made of recycling concrete. The Recyclinghaus set another precedent for future projects as the concrete supplier obtained the first approval for recycling concrete in Lower Saxony.

The house's inclusiveness is based on a dialogue-centered design and building approach.

A joint effort by artisans, architects, clients, & other stakeholders. Another factor is affordability, followed by a flexible floor plan that adjusts to future residents' physical and cognitive capacities.

One of the distinguishing features of this structure is a customised design that enables simple disassembly without compromising quality or requiring considerable material sorting after the end of life. 

The current building stock is viewed as a source of raw material for future new builds.

📸 © European Union