At last year's Expo CIHAC -- the biggest and most popular architecture show in Latin America -- Bunker Arquitectura (better known as BNKR Arquitectura) created the Upcycling Pavilion, a striking red pavilion made from about 5,000 recycled Coca-Cola crates. The inspiration for the pavilion came from concern over the amount of waste produced by typical pavilions coupled with a desire to keep costs down. The resulting pavilion is about 300 square meters in size, and it's made entirely from stacked Coca-Cola crates.
BNKR Arquitectura is a Mexico City-based architecture and design firm that was founded by Esteban Suarez in 2005 and is constantly pushing the boundaries of green design. In order to make the Upcycling Pavilion a reality, BNKR approached Coca-Cola with a proposal in hopes to get the company to sponsor the project and donate the soda crates. Coke liked the idea, and even went as far as to sponsor the delivery of the crates. BNKR then worked with the event organizers and used the Coke crates to build an elaborate, labyrinthine pavilion that served as the cafeteria for Expo CIHAC.
The biggest challenge was actually building the thing. “Since we’d never built a pavilion out of soda crates, we awaited the arrival of the 5,000 crates three days before the exhibition opened, and constructed it on the spot through on site experimentation and trial and error,” explained the architects. They stacked the crates on top of each other and tied them together with small plastic straps. And the curved walls actually lend structural support, the architects explained, allowing them to build the walls as tall as 5 meters (16 feet) tall.