A plastic pavilion to educate and enlighten

The Space of Waste

We teamed up with artist and architect Nick Wood of How About Studio to produce an installation for ZSL London Zoo. This structure, dubbed The Space of Waste, seeks to highlight issues surrounding plastic waste and pollution within its very form.

ZSL London Zoo commissioned us to create the 16ft-high installation for their celebration of the heroes and villains of conservation; a house for the environmental supervillain Plastico. The aim is to emphasise the impact plastic pollution has on the environment and provide a unique space for educating young people about the importance of environmental conservation.

The design uses 15,000 discarded bottles as its primary material. These were mounted onto an off-the-shelf wire mesh, allowing the form to be easily manipulated, before being transported to site in large rolls. The bottle meshes are supported by a lightweight frame of aluminium trusses with secondary aluminium tubes.

The simplicity of the design allowed the whole process, from concept to installation, to be completed in four weeks; on-site installation took just three days, without the need for machinery.

“Building this piece with ZSL was a satisfying challenge, as plastic bottles are not usually seen as a building material. Recycling them into this structure [...] was a great way to turn the culprits themselves into a stark visual reminder of the worsening plastic problem in our city.” – Nick Wood, How About Studio

“It was a pleasure to support Nick and London Zoo to help raise awareness of discarded plastic bottles in London - the volume is staggering.” – Marta Galiñanes-Garcia, AKT II

The Space of Waste is open throughout the summer at London Zoo.

Client: ZSL London Zoo
Architect: Nick Wood / How About Studio
Structural Engineer: AKT II