Happy New Year! Wobo is calling!

Hello and happy New Year from Urban Restart team! We wish 2014 to be challenging, inspiring and creative year!

A word created to mean anything it needs to be, it has an actual definition but it is unknown.

This year I want to start topic with a story of wobo wall. A story about brick-shaped bottles which could be up-cycled as building materials! It is a great idea to design packaging of products in the way that it could be later used for other functions. The concept itself is very much related with do- it –yourself or self-built culture, which is indeed nothing new in informal communities.


Alfred Heineken during the world tour of Heineken in the beach of Carribbeanisland of Curaco noticed a huge amount of bottles waste. Having in mind the poor housing and economic situation in the place he came up with an idea of creating ‘‘a brick that holds beer’’. He invited dutch architect Jhon Habraken to develop this idea and after the period of three year they came up with a bottle wall design of horizontally laid, interlocking and bond with cement mortar bottle-bricks. The biggest challenge of design was how to work out the openings and building edges without necessity to cut bottle.  A 10 ft x 10 ft shack would take approximately 1,000 bottles to build. In 1963, 100,000 WOBO’s were produced in two sizes, 350 and 500 mm.


Only two WOBO structures exist and they are both on the Heineken estate in Noordwijk, near Amsterdam.


Architect Habraken is also called human architect as his philosophy is about humans as users creating their own built environment rather than sticking to object architecture which sometimes doesn’t really serve the real needs of users.An inspiring documentary about Habraken and his work approach can be found here:


Wobo wall project, also reminds me so called earthship buildings initiated by Mike Reynolds where he creates of-grid houses made from waste materials. Have a look at this documentary ‘Garbage Warrior’:



garbage images



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