One of my favorite things in life is a Road Side Attraction. I can't help myself, I will go anywhere to see a giant pan, drive through tree, and I have even lived at the Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz, so I'm pretty committed. Here are a few new places on my bucket list. Not only are these homes objects of intrigue and curiosity, they are also beautiful, unique and create opportunities to turn landfill (used bottles and more) into functional works of art.
It's believed that the first bottle house was built in 1902 by William F. Peck in Tonopah, Nevada. Per Wikipedia, "The house was built using 10,000 bottles of J. Hostetter's Stomach Bitters which consisted of various herbs in a solution of 47% alcohol. The Peck house was demolished in the early 1980s", but the concept of bottle dwellings has lived on in Earthship architecture developed by Michael Reynolds . Reynolds began developing sustainable architecture in the 1970's with 3 criteria in mind. “First, it would utilize sustainable architecture, and materials indigenous to the local area or recycled materials wherever possible. Second, it would rely on natural energy sources and be independent from the electrical grid. Third, it would be feasible for a person with no specialized construction skills to build."
Heineken WOBO "A Beer bottle that Doubles as a Brick".
The WOBO Bottle was conceived after a trip to the Caribbean, were Heineken found beaches littered with bottles and very little affordable building materials. He hired John Habraken to design a beer bottle that could be reused as a building brick. In 1963 100,000 Brick Bottles were produced. The brick was flat on two sides and had small bumps on the surface to grip mortar, a small shed was built using the WOBO brick that still stands today at the Heineken estate. Ultimately the project was rejected by the Heineken brewing company, but 40 years later the idea is still revolutionary.
Here are some examples of Roadside Attractions, Bottle Homes, and Earthships and other ways people have chosen to upcycle their bottles. At the bottom of the page, there is a link to learn how to create your own bottle wall. If you come across these on your travels please share them with us.
Minnie Evans – African-American folk artist.
"One of Lonely Planet’s Top Ten Eco-Stays"
Photo credit to 'Scott Eslinger/The Enterprise July 31, 2005'
To see a video tour of the home, check out this video.
Photo by Jeremy Zila
Photo by Roni Rubelow
Anna's Bottle House
If you are inspired by these artists, here is a video on how to make your own Bottle Bricks.