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PLASTICS AS BUILDING ENVELOPE

CASE STUDIES

Farben des Konsums

1  “Farben des Konsums” light installation in an unused part of Potsdamer Platz underground station

in Berlin.  2  The surface areas of each colour of the backlit plastic elements is proportional to its use in plastic packaging.

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Location  Berlin, Germany Material  Recycled thermoplastic material Completion  2003 (temporary)

Design  Bär + Knell: Beata Bär, Gerhard Bär, Hartmut Knell

“Die Farben des Konsums” (The Colours of Consumption) is a light installation project made of recycled plastic packaging materials that has been staged at ­several different locations. Originally created as part of an exhibition entitled “Kunst, Kunststoff, Kunststoffrecycling” (Art, Plastics, Recycling) by the German Asso­ciation for Plastics Recycling (DKR), the wall of coloured light was installed along a 144 m stretch of a tunnel and future underground station of the U3 line beneath the Potsdamer Platz in Berlin. The exhibition also featured the work of various artists and companies that produce high-quality designs, for example furniture, out of recycled plastic material. The intention is that visitors grasp a better understanding of the raw materials cycle through the aesthetic quality of the objects and that this will heighten consumer awareness of plastic packaging and recycling. The name of the project refers to the proportional distribution of colours in the packaging material of everyday consumer goods. For example, the white colour is derived from the plastic bottles used for mineral water. Once the plastic pack­ aging had been sorted by colour, they were then ground down to granulate. The plastic elements were created through hot-pressing. Initially, individual items of furniture and small runs were produced in this way. The plastic panels used in the installation “Die Farben des Konsums” were handmade by the artists and illuminated from behind.

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PLASTICS in Architecture and Construction  

This book seeks to fill that gap by providing an introduction to the structural and design possibilities of plastic. It introduces the mater...

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