Project description by jury
The design aims to enhance the livability in Kroo Bay, an informal settlement of Freetown, Sierra Leone. As is the case across the country, this community suffers from several sanitary, social and environmental emergencies – including the contamination of the local ecosystem with plastic particles due to inadequate waste management systems. The project uses a simple but radical low-tech approach to provide a multi-purpose facility able to collect plastic trash and upcycle it into valuable products. The proposed architectural object, placed on a riverside, consists of three elements: a bridge that collects plastic trash carried by the river via a net; a recycling plastic workshop where plastics are separated from other rubbish and warmed up to 200°C through solar concentrators then transformed into new products; and spectator seating for football games designed to store objects underneath the stairs while serving recreational activities. The pavilion is intended to be built from recycled on-site plastic panels fixed to steel elements, ensuring the affordability of the construction. In a place characterized by an extreme lack of facilities, the project strives to help residents improve their lives with a public space that reduces pollution from plastics. The small recycling production chain provides opportunities for work, education and gathering while contributing to a safer and cleaner environment.
Plastic pollution is amongst the most critical environmental issues to address, especially for countries where programmatic recycling practices are difficult to implement. The LafargeHolcim Awards jury Middle East Africa appreciated the creative suggestion to combine different programs in a low-tech facility that, by optimizing spaces together with resources, is able to provide multiple social, economic and environmental benefits. The technological aspects were found thoughtful and carefully calibrated with the specificities of the place. This results in a convincing architecture whose ability to incorporate vernacular references was particularly praised.See more
Resource and environmental performance – Planet
Plastic in the river enters the Kroo Bay slum and then travels further to the Atlantic Ocean, with harmful environmental impacts on our planet. The idea is to filter plastic from the river and to upcycle it into valuable objects. The system functions without electricity.
Locals collect plastic trash with a net at the bridge across the river; Plastic is separated from other rubbish and sorted out according to the type; Big plastic parts are shredded to the smaller particles; Needed plastic is filled in the tubes and brought to the roof; At the parabolic curved roof plastic is warmed up to 200°C (18 kg/h x 8 tubes); Workers lower the tubes by a mechanical elevator and form plastic into any shape such as chopping boards, chairs, walls, doors, etc; Products can be sold or used by residents.
Ethical standards and social inclusion – People
The site is located in the slum of the capital of one of the poorest countries in the world: Sierra Leone. After the civil war and Ebola disease, the life of the community is destroyed. So the building itself is a hybrid, where each part has a dual function - not only technological but also social. The body of the object is a small plastic recycling production chain where people work and educate; the bridge is created to filter the plastic trash from the river and to bind two parts of the settlement; the tribune is designed to store objects underneath the stairs, to have roof access and to watch football; the promenade is created for circulation and for enjoying cleaned water;the curved roof is made to warm up plastic for production and to cover a meeting place.
Economic viability and compatibility – Prosperity
In the extreme lack of facilities, the project strives to help residents to rise their life levels and creating a public space without polluting the planet. Residents of the slum work in the building for themselves and also earn money. Thus, the community can prosper and recover the ecosystem. The building is an economically affordable flexible structure made from recycled on-site plastic panels fixed on local steel elements, such as L-shape profiles. The Profiles are combined in the crosses together to create cheap but aesthetic columns. The ground is unstable, irregular and constantly filled in with plastic during the flood seasons. The foundation, in this case, is designed from long screw piles. No expensive groundworks are needed and every trained person can screw them down.See more
Plastic litter is a pressing environmental problem in many parts of the world, including Crew Bay, an informal settlement in Freetown. The area is densely populated but hardly developed. And the river that flows through it flushes vast amounts of trash into the sea. The project by Evgenii Varlygin, student at the Technical University of Munich in Germany, envisages a three-stage low-tech intervention. First, the plastic is caught in a net that spans the river. Then it is collected and processed in a plant. It is separated from other collected waste, sorted, ground, heated to 200 °C with solar concentrators, and finally formed into new products, such as plastic building blocks. Jobs are created in all three phases. The proposed factory building incorporates recycled plastic panels and features an observation deck for visitors to view the manufacturing process.
“The project uses simple means; the low-tech design pays attention to the climate and culture,” says Evgenii Varlygin. The jury considers the project a creative proposal that combines social, economic, and environmental benefits. “It goes beyond just solving the problem,” explains Marilyne Anderson: “It brings together job creation, leisure, and many more aspects into the question of plastic recycling.”Read more »
Next Generation 3rd prize winner Plastic Extractor in Sierra Leone – Multipurpose recycling facility by Evgenii …
Next Generation 3rd prize winner Evgenii Varlygin, student, Technical University of Munich, Germany for Plastic …
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