The highest honor of the NSW architecture Awards, the Robert Woodward Award, goes to Raffaello Rosselli
After recycling old tiles, Mr. Rosselli is now turning once-beloved toys and household items into furniture and building material that will last for another generation.
“Let’s get something that doesn’t seem to have much value in society, that could have an impact, that needs to be landfilled and recycled,” said Rosselli.
He was embarrassed by the idea that once finished, the Plastic Palace could have ended up in the pointe.
To make the project a net positive for the environment, he worked with local businesses to turn waste into a durable 20mm to 30mm plastic sheet. “People say it’s beautiful terrazzo,” he said. “But it’s not made from stone from an Italian mine and shipped around the world at huge carbon and environmental costs. It is made locally, from once popular toys.
Colorful terrazzo sheets made from milk bottles and their lids are now in use at an after-school center in Redfern. “Children at an early age can understand that things don’t have to be new, they can have a story,” he said. “Instead of treating old things like garbage, we reposition them like relics. “
Many Australian architects have signed up to Architects Declare, which recognizes that building materials account for nearly 40% of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions. Rosselli says architects can play a role in finding new ways to breathe new life into old materials.
Broken Camp, an outdoor pavilion for a private residence in northern New South Wales by architect Luke Hayward of Atelier Luke, an architecture and design studio in Japan and Australia, won the second highest price for small projects. Two other projects, Nicholson Galleries at the Chau Chak Wing Museum of Studioplusthree and Wattamolla Visitor Amenities of Conybeare Morrison International with NSW NPWS, were recognized.
Small Projects Jury Chairman, Architect Andrew Benn, said that because the projects were so different, the judges sought creativity.
Like tiny houses, which architect Marion Mahony Griffin says can be a perfect work of art, Benn said any small project gives the architect greater control and freedom.
“Their scale gives you so much more control over every detail, and they tend to become a very personal experience, free from such business expectations,” he said.
These projects often launch architects in the early stages of their careers. Mr. Benn’s first project, a small house named Highland House, won the Small Project award ten years ago. He said he caught the attention of the whole world.
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