What is your house made of? Is it made of wood or stone materials? Or does it have clay bricks, concrete, metal bars or glass? What about plastic or thick, paper cardboard?
Buildings are made of many different kinds of things. Some buildings are strong and permanent. But other buildings are made to be temporary. Many people around the world live in temporary shelters. They build their homes with materials that are easy to find - like plastic or cardboard. They reuse old materials to make new homes. Usually, these homes are built to provide shelter for a low cost. They are not strong enough to last for a long time. And they are not usually designed to be beautiful
But now, building designers are thinking about how to reuse these same simple materials to make stronger and more beautiful buildings. Today’s article is on buildings made from unusual materials.
First, we travel to Christchurch, a city in New Zealand. In 2011 a large earthquake shook New Zealand. More than one hundred people died in the city of Christchurch. The earthquake caused a lot of damage to property too. It destroyed the city’s cathedral. Christians have worshipped in this beautiful, old stone building for over one hundred years. The cathedral was also a major center for the city. It was important for many people.
Many other earthquakes had damaged the cathedral over the last one hundred years. Each time, workers repaired the damage. But after the 2011 earthquake, repairs were not possible. After a long debate, the community decided to build a new cathedral. However, building a new cathedral takes a long time, and a lot of money. So, until workers complete the new cathedral, the community will use a temporary cathedral.
Church leaders chose Shigeru Ban to design the temporary cathedral. Ban is an architect from Japan. He has a lot of experience designing temporary structures. Ban uses simple materials to build amazing buildings. One of his particular interests is using cardboard. Cardboard is made of paper, pressed together. It is often used to make boxes, and other simple containers. Cardboard does not cost very much money. So, Ban decided to design the temporary Christchurch cathedral from mostly cardboard.
教会的领导选了Shigeru Ban 这人来设计临时教堂。Ban 是来自日本的建筑师。他对设计临时搭建有许多经验，会使用简单的建材来兴建精彩又不寻常的建筑物。他擅长用纸板来搭建东西。纸板是纸张挤压形成的，通常用来做纸盒子和简易容器。纸板成本不高，于是Ban 决定采用纸板作主建材来兴建基督教会的临时教堂。
Ban’s Christchurch cardboard cathedral opened in August 2013. It stands 25 metres high. It looks like a large tent, with a high, pointed roof. Ban used huge round cardboard tubes to create the roof. There are more than 98 tubes, each up to 20 metres long! However, cardboard becomes soft in the rain. So the building includes a large plastic surface which covers the tubes.
On one end of the cathedral, there are coloured windows, based on the beautiful windows in the old cathedral. The design also includes eight recycled metal shipping containers. The temporary cathedral is large - more than seven hundred people can sit inside. The building is also beautiful and strong. The temporary Christchurch cathedral could last up to 50 years! Ban designed it to be safe during future earthquakes. The materials did not cost a lot of material. And when the new, permanent, cathedral is finished, the cardboard cathedral can be recycled!
Next, we travel to Taiwan, to the EcoArk. This building was built for the 2010 Taipei Flora Exhibition, a large plant show. Arthur Huang led the design of the EcoArk. The EcoArk building is large – 24 metres high. It is also strong. It had to resist wind, earthquakes and fire. But Huang did not use the usual building materials. Instead, he used recycled plastic bottles, called POLLI-Bricks.
接着，我们去看看台湾的“EcoArk远东环生方舟”建筑物。这是2010年台北国际花卉博览会时所建的。Arthur Huang （黄谦智）领导设计了环生方舟.整个建筑物很大，24米高，也非常的坚固，因为需要能抵御得住风，地震和火。黄建筑师并没有使用一般的建材，反使用回收的塑胶瓶，叫宝特砖。
Huang started the company that makes POLLI-Bricks. First, they take old plastic bottles. Then, they melt and reform these plastic bottles into a new shape: POLLI-Bricks! POLLI-Bricks look a little like a plastic bottle. Each brick even has a top that people can remove. But the bricks also have grooves cut into the side. These grooves make it possible to fit the bricks together. They do not need glue, or anything else, to keep them together. The fit is tight and the bricks do not move.
To build the EcoArk, Huang used material from one and a half million [1,500,000] old bottles. He built the POLLI-Bricks around a steel frame. The clear POLLI-Bricks are perfect for plants. They let the sun’s light and warmth into the building. Huang also designed the building with open areas, to bring in air from outside. The building was strong, beautiful and comfortable. It cost much less than other buildings in the Exhibition. And city official could take it apart and rebuild it somewhere else after the Exhibition.
The EcoArk brought immediate attention to Huang and POLLI-Bricks. Now POLLI-Bricks are being used in other building projects around the world. Huang hopes that the bricks will be a good use for plastic waste - keeping plastic out of the world’s oceans and waste collection areas. Huang wants to make a real difference, by making buildings that are better for the environment.
Finally, we travel to South Korea. Our final project also uses recycled materials. But it is something less serious. Choi Jeong-Hwa is an artist. He creates art using common objects. These things do not seem to be art materials. But when he puts them together, the result is special. Many of his projects are public art - art in public places, for everyone to enjoy.
In 2011, Choi created an unusual project on the streets of Seoul. He chose a ten floor building. It was a normal, simple building. But Choi covered this normal building with bright, colorful doors! Choi needed many doors to cover the walls - one thousand of them! Choi used old doors, but he chose doors that were colourful and interesting. From the street, the building is a colourful surprise!
The use of recycled materials to build public buildings is growing. These new designs are perfect for temporary and moveable structures. They are also lower cost, beautiful and good for the environment. For these reasons, more and more designers are thinking of fresh ideas for using recycled building materials. And soon, these unusual materials may appear in your city too!
（此文乃经Spotlightradio同意做转载和翻译。你可以上网http://www.radioenglish.net，听以慢速读出的这篇文章- ‘New Ways to Build’）
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