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BAG Transforms Wooden Pallets into Temporary Space Observatory

08 Feb 2015

BAG have masterminded the most ambitious attempt at recycling used wooden pallets yet, transforming them into a temporary space observatory.

Upcycling is the act of turning old and unwanted items into something innovative and desirable. An experimental design firm, BAG, master of the art of upcycling, has recently turned 120 very ordinary wooden pallets into something quite extraordinary for a festival in Italy, a stunning observatory from which members of the public are invited to lie in colourful hammocks and study the skies above.

Beyond Architecture Group or BAG used the wooden pallets to construct the architectural masterpiece for the Frammenti Music Festival at the Archaeological Park in Tusculum in Italy.

Looking ( C ) up

The space observatory is titled ‘Looking ( C ) up’ and is based on the much larger, real life observatory in Tusculum. The theme of the last Frammenti Music festival was space, and artists were asked to consider the universe as a desirable place. The entry by BAG was a structure constructed from 120 wooden pallets, each one of which had been completely dismantled. Every plank of wood and nail was reused in the installation.

Architects Giles Mascaro and Cecilia Tognoni worked along side Paolo Robazza of BAG, building a circular structure. Each piece of wood was slightly curved and nailed to the one next to it. The slats were stacked on top of each other to form layers that overlapped in an irregular fashion, making a round structure. As a result of the irregularities the interior of the observatory can be glimpsed through the cracks and holes. Brightly coloured hammocks are suspended within the structure at different levels, inviting the viewer into to lie down and look up at the heavens above.

Beyond Architecture Group

Beyond Architecture Group, BAG, is a design studio in Rome, founded by Paolo Robazzo in 2009. BAG specializes in sustainable architecture that uses local and natural materials, combining traditional technologies with innovative design. Previous installations include houses, the walls of which were built entirely with bales of straw. These load bearing walls were then fitted with doors and windows, plastered and finally painted.

Workshops

BAG often organise workshops during their builds, inviting members of the public to get involved in the building work itself. The site becomes a community space in which interested public members can participate in the construction process and learn more about BAG’s unique form of experimental architecture. Recent workshops include laying a floor in an apartment in Rome. The material used, cocciopesto, is made of tiny particles of broken bricks and lime based mortar and was used in Ancient Rome to coat military tanks. Participants at the workshop learned how to prepare the mixture and to roll it out on the floor in layers. Another workshop gave members of the public the chance to construct a beach hut made of bamboo. Participants worked alongside the BAG team, creating the hut from arches of split bamboo.

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