By Nathan CruzRak
The Circular Pavilion, situated in front of the City Hall in Paris, is geometrically far from circular, but is built upon principals of circular urban reclamation. Designed by architects Nicola Delon and Julien Choppin at Encore Heureux, to demonstrate and promote the possibilities of re-use and re-purpose in architecture. One buildings waste, can be another’s treasure.
Today the wood found throughout buildings, especially the larger pieces are manufactured from smaller woods or other mock fillers and layers. These faux wood elements can be crafted with precision and quality for a higher cost, however they are usually made from recycled materials which innately have more processing in their production.
My father became a carpenter at a young age, and later the owner of his own construction firm. He is retired now, but always believed in re-using and re-purposing materials and methods. To this day he has large pieces of lumber from as far back as the 1970’s stacked and stockpiled in an old barn nestled among a 72-acre plantation of Norway pines. On several occasions I have had to visit lumberyards in the twin cities region looking for lumber on a project, and it’s very seldom that I see lumber as stunning as the old growth material my father has held on to.
From this experience I came to surmise that the quality and scope of wood products has shrunk since decades past. And that if you are looking to implement the character and impressiveness of former centuries wood products, then that superiority isn’t found in the recycling of wood products, but in their re-use and re-purpose.
Hopefully news of the café of reclaimed materials reaches and leaves a lasting impression on designers of all kinds. I’ll leave off with a statement by Nicola Delon (Encore Heureux) in a piece by Architect Magazine,
“When you find ways to not waste, you find positive energy,” — “Two centuries ago, we’d go to the forest. Now, we go to the city. It’s a change in paradigm.”
Recycle, but foremost, consider the re-use and re-purpose of materials.
– Journal 6