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Brief Published: 12 Apr 2012

Upcycled Spaces Aim to Educate


Officina Roma, a new villa built entirely from discarded items for an upcoming exhibition in Rome, is being used to heighten awareness of sustainable design and the broader, more imaginative, architectural possibilities of upcycling.

Experimental, Berlin-based architect Raumlabor created the villa for the Recycle: Strategies for Architecture, City and Planet exhibition at the MAXXI gallery in Rome (until April 29). It was built in less than a week with the help of 24 school pupils from all over Italy – a community approach befitting the educational philosophy of the project.

Officina Roma consists of a main workshop area, kitchen and bedroom, all of which have been constructed from mundane objects such as oil barrels, bottles, wood, windows and car parts.

To help inform visitors about local resources and teamwork, the villa will play host to various workshops and discussions covering topics such as experimental building methods, alternative living arrangements and up-cycled design. 

For a deeper exploration of upcycling in architecture and interior design, see Stylus’ report Upcycled Spaces.