13 Beautiful Buildings Basically Made Out Of Trash

5 min read

When we think of beautiful buildings, we often picture grand structures made of luxurious materials like marble, glass, and steel. However, there is a growing movement in architecture that challenges this notion by creating stunning structures out of unconventional materials – trash. These buildings not only showcase the creativity and resourcefulness of architects but also serve as a reminder of the urgent need to reduce waste and embrace sustainable practices.

1. The Bottle House, Prince Edward Island, Canada

Located in the picturesque Prince Edward Island, Canada, the Bottle House is a unique structure that stands as a testament to recycling. Built by Édouard T. Arsenault in the 1980s, this charming house is constructed using approximately 30,000 recycled glass bottles. The bottles, carefully arranged in rows and held together with cement, create an ethereal effect as sunlight filters through the colorful glass walls.

The Bottle House is not just visually appealing; it also serves as an educational center, showcasing the importance of recycling and reducing waste. Visitors can learn about the process of constructing such a building and gain inspiration for their own eco-friendly projects.

2. The Temple of Trash, Taiwan

Taipei, the capital city of Taiwan, is home to an extraordinary temple made entirely out of recycled materials. The Temple of Trash, also known as the “EcoArk,” was built for the 2010 Taipei International Flora Expo. Designed by architect Arthur Huang, this innovative structure is constructed using 1.5 million recycled plastic bottles.

The temple’s unique design not only highlights the potential of recycling but also showcases the strength and durability of plastic bottles. The structure’s interlocking bottle walls provide excellent insulation and withstand extreme weather conditions. The EcoArk serves as a multipurpose space, hosting exhibitions, concerts, and conferences, while also raising awareness about sustainable practices.

3. The Plastic Bottle Village, Panama

Deep in the Panamanian jungle, a village made entirely out of plastic bottles is taking shape. Robert Bezeau, an environmentalist and founder of the Plastic Bottle Village project, aims to create an entire community using discarded plastic bottles. The project not only provides affordable housing solutions but also tackles the issue of plastic waste.

The plastic bottles are filled with sand and stacked to create the walls of houses, creating a sturdy and eco-friendly alternative to traditional construction materials. The Plastic Bottle Village demonstrates that waste can be transformed into something useful and beautiful.

4. The Recycled Can House, Texas, USA

In Houston, Texas, the famous “Beer Can House” stands as a quirky example of recycling in architecture. John Milkovisch, a retired upholsterer, spent over 18 years covering his house with flattened beer cans, creating a shimmering façade.

The Recycled Can House is not just a fascinating sight, but it also sheds light on the potential of reusing everyday materials. The house has become a popular tourist attraction, inspiring visitors to rethink their perception of waste and find creative ways to repurpose discarded items.

5. The Paper House, Massachusetts, USA

Located in Rockport, Massachusetts, the Paper House is a testament to the versatility of paper as a building material. Built by Elis Stenman in 1922, this unique structure is entirely made out of newspaper. From the walls to the furniture, everything in the house is crafted from rolled-up newspapers.

The Paper House is a remarkable example of resourcefulness and showcases the potential of reusing materials that are often considered disposable. It has become a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from around the world who marvel at the intricacy and durability of this unconventional building.

6. The Junk Castle, Washington, USA

The Junk Castle, located in Washington State, USA, is a whimsical structure created by artist Victor Moore. Using discarded materials such as car parts, washing machine drums, and scrap metal, Moore transformed trash into a unique castle-like dwelling.

The Junk Castle serves as a reminder that beauty can be found in the most unexpected places. It challenges the traditional notions of architecture and encourages a shift towards more sustainable practices by showcasing the potential of repurposing waste materials.

7. The Cardboard Cathedral, New Zealand

After a devastating earthquake struck Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2011, the city needed a temporary place of worship. Architect Shigeru Ban stepped in to design the Cardboard Cathedral, an innovative and sustainable solution.

The cathedral’s walls are constructed using cardboard tubes, which are reinforced with timber and covered with a waterproof membrane. This unconventional material choice allowed for quick construction while also providing a unique aesthetic appeal. The Cardboard Cathedral stands as a symbol of hope and resilience, demonstrating the potential of sustainable building materials.

8. The Earthship Biotecture, New Mexico, USA

Earthship Biotecture is an architectural concept developed by Michael Reynolds, aiming to create self-sufficient and sustainable homes using recycled materials. Located in Taos, New Mexico, the Earthship community consists of unique houses made from discarded tires, glass bottles, and other recycled materials.

These self-sustaining homes utilize passive solar heating, rainwater harvesting, and natural ventilation systems to reduce the reliance on traditional utilities. The Earthship Biotecture movement has gained global recognition for its innovative approach to sustainable living and has inspired individuals to build their own eco-friendly homes.

9. The Salvaged Stadium, Brazil

When Brazil hosted the FIFA World Cup in 2014, a group of Brazilian architects came up with an ingenious idea to repurpose materials from the old stadium. The Salvaged Stadium project aimed to reduce waste and environmental impact by reusing materials from the demolished stadiums.

Using materials such as wooden seats, concrete slabs, and metal structures, the architects constructed temporary structures and public spaces near the new stadium. These structures served as gathering spaces during the World Cup and highlighted the importance of sustainable practices in large-scale events.

10. The Trash Temple, Thailand

In the heart of Thailand, the Trash Temple stands as a remarkable example of recycling and repurposing. The temple, located in Wat Suthat, Bangkok, was built using over one million recycled glass bottles. The bottles, filled with colorful LED lights, create a mesmerizing effect when illuminated.

The Trash Temple not only showcases the creative use of discarded materials but also serves as a reminder of the environmental impact of waste. It sends a powerful message about the need for sustainable practices and the potential of repurposing materials in architecture.

11. The Pallet House, Various Locations

Pallets, often used for shipping and storage, have gained popularity as a building material due to their versatility and low cost. The Pallet House concept utilizes discarded pallets to create affordable and sustainable housing solutions.

By stacking and securing pallets together, architects and builders can construct sturdy walls and floors. These structures can then be finished with other recycled materials, such as reclaimed wood or salvaged windows. The Pallet House movement has gained traction worldwide, offering an accessible and eco-friendly solution to housing challenges.

12. The Tyre House, India

In India, where discarded tires are a significant environmental concern, the Tyre House project offers an innovative solution. By repurposing old tires, the project aims to create affordable and sustainable housing options for low-income communities.

The tires are filled with compacted earth and stacked to form walls, providing excellent insulation and durability. The Tyre House project not only addresses the issue of tire waste but also provides a scalable solution to housing shortages in developing countries.

13. The Landfill Harmonic Orchestra, Paraguay

The Landfill Harmonic Orchestra is not a building itself, but it is a testament to the power of creativity and resourcefulness in the face of extreme poverty. Located in Cateura, Paraguay, this orchestra is composed of young musicians who play instruments made entirely out of recycled materials found in the nearby landfill.

From oil drums transformed into cellos to spoons and forks repurposed as wind instruments, the Landfill Harmonic Orchestra showcases the transformative power of trash. It serves as a symbol of hope, demonstrating that beauty and art can emerge from the most challenging circumstances.


These 13 beautiful buildings made out of trash are a testament to the limitless possibilities of architecture and the importance of sustainable practices. From recycled glass bottles to discarded tires, these structures challenge conventional notions of construction materials and provide inspiration for a more environmentally conscious future.

By repurposing waste materials, architects and builders can create visually stunning and functional buildings while also raising awareness about the urgent need to reduce waste. These projects serve as powerful reminders that beauty can be found in the most unexpected places and that our trash can be transformed into something valuable and extraordinary.

FAQs About Buildings Made Out Of Trash

1. How do buildings made out of trash contribute to sustainability?

Buildings made out of trash contribute to sustainability by reducing waste and promoting the reuse of materials. These structures showcase the potential of repurposing discarded items, reducing the reliance on traditional construction materials, and minimizing the environmental impact of the building industry.

2. Are buildings made out of trash durable?

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