The Beehive facade is made from recycled terracotta roof tiles and is an example of how under valued waste materials can be reimagined and re-used. The tiles have been reconfigured and stacked vertically into a brise-soliel. This means the building is protected from the western sun, glare and heat load yet provides ample natural light. On a typical day, no artificial lighting is required until dusk.
The terracotta tile’s thermal mass has an evaporative quality – it’s cool to touch in the sun and it filters cool air and light inside. This means that the building doesn’t need air conditioning or blinds.
The Beehive was designed by architects Raffaello Rosselli in collaboration with Luigi Rosselli architects as the architectural studio for Luigi Rosselli Architects in Redfern, Sydney.
The Australian building industry creates over one third of the country’s waste output. A central concern of this project was to re-use a building material which would typically end up as landfill, with the hope that it may inspire others to see the beauty and value in recycled materials. The imperfections and patinas add a unique character and sense of history to the building.
– Recycled terracotta roof tiles for brise-soliel and book shelves
– Recycled materials were a key consideration of the design from concept phase. They have become an important design feature, rather than a symbolic afterthought
– Brise-soliel deflects heat gain and glare plus it cools down the breeze
– Only natural ventilation is used, no air conditioning has been installed
– Diffuse light is available throughout the building so no blinds are required
– Passive solar design has effectively softened the harsh western sun
Challenging the perceived material limitations of terracotta tiles, the building refuses an immediate reading upon first sight, celebrating the layers of filigree and geometric complexity that can be found in the overlooked terracotta tile. Using recycled materials from the start rather than an afterthought, the design thinking centred on discovering a filigree that was more tactile and humanist utilising through the use of elemental materials.
Nadine is the founder and editor of Eco Edition and founder of the Eco Edition Design School. She’s an experienced interior designer, sustainable materials consultant, speaker and serial home renovator.
Love the concept of incorporating recycled materials right from the design stage. An amazing building!