A new bridge called ECOtainer made from recycled shipping containers will render “trash mountain” unrecognizable to residents of Tel Aviv. The Hiriya landfill just outside of Tel Aviv shut down in 1998 after becoming the repository for 25 million tons of waste. More mountain than landfill, Hiriya has since been transformed into one of the world’s most successful reclamation projects.
Already the methane emitted from Hiriya is harvested to power a nearby factory and the surrounding area is being converted into an urban park that is safe for a variety of outdoor recreational activities. Now Yosef Messer Architects have won the Econtainer Bridge Competition, which may result in the construction of a bridge made of recycled shipping containers linking Arial Sharon Park with the main thoroughfare leading to Tel Aviv.
Each year, 800,000 maritime shipping containers are spit out into the world with nowhere to go. As a result, resourceful designers have frequently incorporated the into art and design projects. They are used for pop-up shops, for temporary restaurants, mobile eco-lodging and all sorts of other creative uses.
But to our knowledge, Yosef Messer Architects is the first to propose utilizing them as the main construction material in a 160 meter bridge.
The Israeli firm places great emphasis on reusing existing materials in order to reduce waste and on fast, efficient and inexpensive construction.
About 70 percent of the ECOtainer bridge will be constructed in a factory, which goes a long way to reducing site damage, and wooden platforms will create a path through the shipping containers, which will comprise the project’s “skeleton,” according to the design team.
Both a passageway for cyclists, pedestrians and light vehicles, the Econtainer Bridge will also be a destination in itself. Benches will be available on either edge, and rooftop platforms will frame panoramic views of southern Tel Aviv.
Photovoltaic panel louvers will serve the dual purpose of creating shading and generating energy for lighting so that the bridge will be completely self-sufficient.
Additional louvers will be included to ensure that the shipping containers, which are made of steel, won’t bake park visitors during the summer months.
Of different shapes and sizes, the recycled containers offer a variety of volumetric options, giving the client a great deal of design flexibility. And most of all, this extraordinary project, if it gets off the ground so to speak, will become a fabulous teaching tool.
Already Hiriya offers tours to people interested in urban reclamation and improved waste management, but a bridge constructed with recycled shipping containers sets a whole new precedent in a country that consistently breaksground in water conservation, wildlife management, clean technology and green architecture.
It has our vote of confidence.
:: Arch Daily