This year we’ve seen a lot together: houses of brick made from dung in the African sub-Sahara, architecture ratcheted into shape from converted aircraft, lawn gnomes that resemble famous historians, and carpets so gaudy that you need to hold a bag over your head just to cross them. So, as we turn the final corner on 2010, let’s look at several more oddities in the hope of feeling grateful that when we lay our heads down at night, we love our homes.

Time in a Bottle

green green

The 1950s design for stack-able beer bottles are attributed to Alfred Heineken—yes, the beer guy. The story goes that he was beachcombing in Jamaica when he was revolted by the insane number of castaway beer bottles. He was troubled, too, by the appalling living conditions among the locals. Vestial Design has the whole story on this decidedly green product.

Nothing New Under the Sun


While I can’t identify the people in the picture, I can tell the photo comes from the early part of the 20th Century. That means that people were recycling bottles for home building long before Heineken came along. Either that or this is an early stage production of Animal House.

A Sinking Feeling

sinking feeling

Kudos to Inhabitat for uploading images of the Sustainable Sky Box with a façade built entirely out of old kitchen sinks for a Dutch architecture firm. Wonder how well it sits with the locals who live nearby along streams, meadows, and windmills.

A Baleful Existence


The plucky British have come up with a construction brick made from hemp mixed with water and lime. Called “Hemecrete”, the blocks are said to have high energy efficiency and fire retardant ratings. Perfect for those who want hemp that won’t burn.

Temporary Housing


Finally, the folks at Marvin windows had given a sample product to Ed Hagele, who in turn created an igloo around it. After the snow melted, there was but a window on the lawn, along with a snowman scarf, top hat, and pipe.

Happy Holidays!

3 Responses to “It’s Immaterial: Strange Building Products You May Have Missed”

  1. Hank says:

    I think there was an older post that had a house made of bottles, I think it was heinekin? I am pretty sure Heinekin would probably actually make a house out of their bottles for someone after watching some of their funny commercials.

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by, said: It’s Immaterial: Strange Building Products You May Have Missed: This year we’ve seen a lot toge… #homeimprovement [...]

  3. Jerry says:

    Those Heineken bottles are collector’s items these days. You can build walls out of beer or wine bottles using “cord wood” construction techniques, which uses cement to fill the voids in between the bottles.

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