The Sharjah Architecture Triennial commenced on November 11, 2023, unveiling a groundbreaking exhibition themed "The Beauty of Impermanence: An Architecture of Adaptability." Curated by Tosin Oshinowo, the program spotlighted the Global South, emphasizing alternative models for the region's future. One standout feature is the "3-Minute Pavilion" by WallMakers, a compelling exploration of global waste and innovative material reuse methodologies. Read more about this on SURFACES REPORTER (SR):
A Vision for Sustainability
In a world grappling with environmental concerns, the "3-Minute Pavilion" by WallMakers tackles the mounting issue of waste, particularly focusing on tires, which constitute about 2% of global waste and pose significant environmental hazards. Only a fraction of discarded tires, around 30 million out of 280 million annually, are recycled or repurposed.
The pavilion proposed the "Tire Masonry and Unstabilized Sand" technique, demonstrating how discarded tires, when covered in mud plaster, can become a sturdy and reliable building material, offering a sustainable alternative to the current scarcity of resources.
A Visual Representation of Waste
Crafted from 1425 discarded tires, the dome-like structure of the pavilion served as a striking visual representation of the colossal daily waste produced by humans—equivalent to 684,931 tires.
This unique showcase aimed to inspire contemplation on the potential transformation of such materials into habitable spaces, emphasizing the importance of responsible resource use.
Innovative Construction Techniques
Collected from various disposal sites in Sharjah, the tires were ingeniously assembled and filled with locally abundant desert sand—a resource often overlooked for construction. The cutting-edge masonry approach sought to create thermally insulated rooms, challenging the notion that these unconventional materials are unsuitable for building.
The pavilion addressed the arid climate of Sharjah and the UAE, asserting that these material solutions could achieve thermal comfort without the need for active cooling.
Aligned with the overarching theme of the Triennial, "The Beauty of Impermanence: An Architecture of Adaptability," the pavilion embraced impermanence, with approximately 95% designed to return to the desert after use.
This thoughtful approach underscored the fleeting nature of structures, aligning with the Triennial's mission to serve as a platform for architectural and urban innovation in West Asia, South Asia, and Africa.
The exhibition featured 29 architects and studios from 25 countries, further reinforcing its global impact and commitment to redefining the future of architecture and sustainability.
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