Swiss architecture studio Bureau A built the striking La Fabrique pavilion near Geneva entirely out of recycled windows. The structure was inspired by Buster Keaton’s 1920 short film “One Week,” in which a couple tries to build a small house for themselves from a kit but end up arguing over the disorganized components. The architects of Bureau A tried to combine the seriousness of a building endeavor and the lightness that can accompany it if approached in a playful way.
The idea of introducing spontaneity into the process of building resulted in a structure that looks a bit like a garden folly. With help from their clients, the architects collected windows from demolition sites and started putting together the material. Pieces of glass were inserted into asymmetric timber frames to create the façade and roof, while floors were built using timber boards and chipboard.
The architects took the concept of the “self-constructed house” from old films such as Buster Keaton’s “One Week” and Reisner’s “Steamboat Bill Junior,” via its modern-day references in Steve Macqueen’s 1997 film “Deadpan.” “The seriousness relates to the difficulty of producing self-built and affordable space in the western world’s cities and the sadness of the loss of spontaneity in architectural processes,” explained Bureau A co-founder Daniel Zamarbide.