Aruhsa house, Tansania - Houses built with plastic bottles save resources

Arusha House shows how creative a free spirit can be with used plastic bottles.

Markus Heinsdorff

After years of preparation, Munich artist Markus Heinsdorff and Munich architect Benedikt Hartl planned the project of a house made of plastic waste. It was realised in Tanzania at the beginning of 2023 and implemented in a fortnight on the grounds of the Arusha Technical College (ATC) with students from the college. Even though plastic bags have long been banned in Tanzania, plastic bottles remain the biggest problem in the country next to landfills. Cleaned by hand with students from the college, the plastic bottles replace insulation and filler materials that are usually used for walls. As the pictures show, this is extremely charming, with an impressive light effect without being transparent.
The project is in no way intended to provide a roof over the heads of the rapidly growing population in Africa or even to solve the waste problem. It does, however, want to set accents and show how cheap it is to build, how plastic waste can become a building material even in areas where there is no market for the processing of plastics. In any case, the Arusha House with its plastic bottles trapped in gabions made of steel profiles and metal mesh draws attention to a smouldering problem in the.

The prototype of the house made of plastic waste is intended as an example and inspiration that should find many imitators. It can be linked together to form larger cubes, and other cuts and geometries can be chosen. In connection with the curtains that were added last, the Arusha House is also a bow to the craftsmanship of the Maasai and a cultural bridge between the past and the crisis-ridden present.
Supported by the Akademie der Künste with funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media as part of the NEUSTART KULTUR programme and by the Wilo Foundation, Dortmund.