Friday, August 30, 2013

Trash Wonders: Nike Concept Store in Shanghai and EcoARK in Taipei

By Asia Pop Culture

Imagine a Nike store build entirely out of trash. Miniwiz Sustainable Development Ltd., a Taiwanese architectural firm, completed just such a Nike concept store last month in Shanghai.

The retail outlet utilizes 5,500 soda cans, 2,000 plastic water bottles and 50,000 old CDs and DVDs, according to Miniwiz.  The building’s connection joints are made from 5,278 aluminum cans, and the 2,000 yards of tension cables are made from 2,000 post consumer recycled water bottles.  All of the materials used to build the structure are derived from urban waste and are put together without any glue or cement.

Miniwiz is not a new kid in eco-centric projects.  In 2010, Miniwiz completed the largest building in the world--EcoARK --in Taipei, Taiwan, largely out of plastic bottles (1.5 million of them).  Most of the firm’s work has been in Taiwan, which is about to change as Miniwiz reportedly plans to expand in China and the U.S.

If such a small island like Taiwan could come up with enough plastic bottle to build EcoARK from the ground up, can you imagine how many this kind of structure would there be in the U.S.?  However, the difference is that Taiwan recycles more than 90% of its PET bottles, compared with just 29% in the US and 52% in Europe. Taiwan has a very large plastics industry and recycled bottles create feedstocks for the island's polyester-fiber industry.   

For more of EcoARK, watch CNN coverage below.