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New European Bauhaus
News article1 June 2021

Upcycling bricks and ceramic tiles to create new construction materials

We want to see examples of alternative building methods and materials that respect the environment.


Does everything come to an end? Can construction waste be reused?

Akna Márquez shared through our website information about her project, which is precisely about that. The reincarnation of building materials.

Construction and demolition waste (CDW) represent one-third of the total waste generated in the European Union ??, most of it ending up in a landfill as its final destination.

Akna wonders ... Why design only for the new product that is destined to be thrown away and not for all the stages of its life journey (birth, growth, decay & death), ultimately guiding it to rebirth once more? 

This was the leading question for the Reincarnation project, in the context of her Master in Design through New Materials degree in Elisava, Barcelona School of Design and Engineering (2019).

Respect and care for materials coupled with an appreciation of their inherent values can lead us to create new narratives and perspectives.

Reincarnation is a project based on the upcycling of bricks and ceramic tiles from the city of Barcelona to create new construction materials for the circular economy, that represent local identity and material stories.

A collection of unique surfaces that show traces of their past history with a contemporary language, recovering material, economic, and architectural values.

A celebration of what already exists!

Material benefits:
• Manufactured locally, with construction and demolition waste from the city of Barcelona.
• Composition of >75% recycled material.
• Free of volatile organic compounds (VOCS).
• Lower embodied energy and CO2 emissions associated with the material.
• 100% recyclable.
• Rich tactility and colour from waste and mineral pigments.

Akna says building materials should also reflect our local architectural identity.

The colour palette of the project is based on its origin: the colourful streets of Barcelona. Beyond an International Style that supplants formal diversity with a universal box of concrete, steel, and glass, the local architecture is varied in color and texture.

? Reincarnation project © Akna Márquez


Publication date
1 June 2021