Drink cans put in the recycling bins by residents and businesses will soon become part of the City landscape in an innovative project to refurbish a building next to the Thames.
Planning permission has been granted by the City of London Corporation for a five-storey living wall to be built at 20 Cousin Lane using approximately two metric tonnes of recycled aluminium and 1.5 tonnes of compost, made from recycled garden waste.
The project, for client PSR Agency Limited, is the culmination of work between planners at the City Corporation, Veolia UK and Red Squirrel Architects to design a building representing circular economy principles, and demonstrating how recycling plays an important role in protecting and preserving the environment.
Cans that have been recovered from Veolia UK’s Materials Recovery Facility in Southwark, which sorts recycling collected from homes and businesses in the City of London, will be used in the process. They will be shredded and re-cast by a specialist metal fabricator near London into latticed modular honeycomb panels.
The aluminium panels will be hung within a grid of recycled steel girders. Compost made from recycled garden waste will be used to plant an extensive wall and planter boxes on the buildings facades.
City of London Corporation Planning and Transportation chair, Alastair Moss, said: “This innovative, radical project is a fantastic example of what can be achieved when designers and planners work together and think outside the box.
“The new wall will be a welcome addition to the City skyline, and a befitting neighbour to the Walbrook Wharf Waste Transfer Station.
“I hope its message of a circular economy will influence everyone to recycle more and consider their own impact on the environment.”
Director of Red Squirrel Architects, Miles Griffies, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled that planning permission has been granted for this unique scheme.
“The close collaboration with the City of London Corporation and Veolia UK has been an interesting and enjoyable process.
“There are clear and obvious benefits to our urban landscape in adopting circular economy principles, recycling, and urban greening; especially when these culminate to make a great piece of architecture.”
Richard Kirkman, chief technology and innovation officer of Veolia UK and Ireland said: “To make environmental improvements at the scale that the UK needs, everyone must do their bit to preserve resources through recycling. This marks the seeds of a green recovery which includes, at its centre, recycling.
“This bold project will remind people of the need to practice sustainable waste behaviours, as well as showcase the unique beauty that can be achieved by turning used items into something new.
“We are proud to collaborate with the City of London Corporation and Red Squirrel Architects, and we hope that the environmental message behind this forward thinking project is taken away from all who see it.”