Superused home

Superused home


After a long restoration, we are proud to present the end result of Superuse co-founder Césare Peeren’s home. A beautiful example of how our cities could evolve, re-using pre-existing housing and local material flows. Starting from the ’90s, thanks to cooperation between the municipality and private owner, the street’s new inhabitants managed to save the whole housing complex. Césare’s house has resulted in an organic assembling of elements and materials from other Superuse ‘s projects realized during the following two decades, implementing flows of re-used materials into the renovation process.

While this portfolio includes a small selection of photographs, you might want to see the extended preview ; the link is also at the end of the page.

The whole housing complex along the east side of the Gerald Scholtenstraat in Rotterdam’s northern part resume today three decades of community efforts. Where inhabitants joined forces to save the heritage value of the street.

The communal approach is also expressed in the collaboration between Césare and his neighbor Hugo; a master of crafts in building and interiors who has been an essential ingredient to complete the restoration, sharing both efforts, knowledge, and investments.

↑ Above image slider: Césare Peeren and Hugo Lammerink during the finishing of the garden’s facade.

“It is made with the waste of the waste of the waste,”

Quote from the interview with Césare Peeren, June 2019.

For example, the garden’s facade’s insulation has been realized upcycling Trespa plates leftover from the other two projects. Initially, the gray panels were office desks dismantled from a bank in Rotterdam around 2009. The material was mainly upcycled on the DortYart project.

DortYart Art Center | Dordrecht NL | Design by Superuse Photo © Denis Guzzo

Superused home’s exterior views

It was 2012 while Rem Koolhaas’s Vertical City was being completed at the Maas river’s waterfront in Rotterdam; I have started the documentation of one of the most surprising designs I have ever seen in public space so far. Designed by Superuse, the ReWind urban bench at Willemsplein recalls a beautiful statement: “think big act small.” The object consists of reused discarded-windmills’ blades while the concrete blocks are made of 90% of recycled concrete material from local demolitions.

Above: the street view of the house. 

Respecting the historical aesthetics, the house has been maintained in its original look at the street side, while it has been reinterpreted at the garden’s side.

With the same approach, the roof has been regenerated by re-using the old shingles to revive a new roof and composing the house’s number ’98’ in its front part.

To complete the rest of the surface, Césare used dead-stock insulating panels which creates a patchwork of colors. Some of them are semi-transparent to increase the amount of light coming into the attic floor.

Below Image Slider: Superused home during the spring of 2020 | © Denis Guzzo

↑↓ Selected vertical views of the garden’s side off the Superused home  © Denis Guzzo 2020 ↑↓


Above: selected vertical views.
Below Image Slider: ground floor of the Superused Home.

Above Image Slider: ground floor of the Superused Home during nocturnal good vibes.


Above Image Slider: the first floor of the Superused Home.

Below: selected night view.




A shatterproof glass-window repurposed as an integral part of the laundry room: definitely the scariest and fascinating detail of the house. It allows most of the light gained by the upper window to illuminate the lower floors, with a focus on the office’s table on the first floor.


# THIRD FLOOR in progress:
stay tuned!

  • 97 % RENEWABLE ENERGY 97% 97%


Combining older-generation solar pannels with new ones; energy is harvested from both the roof and the balcony installations.



Rain water is a precious resourse in terms of food production and house holding. The house is provided with three collecting silos at different floors. 

The Re-Use Atlas: A Designer’s Guide Towards a Circular Economy

The Re-Use Atlas: A Designer’s Guide Towards a Circular Economy

This book is a highly illustrated ‘atlas’, taking the reader on a journey via four distinct ‘steps’ (recycling, reuse, reduce, closed loop), from a linear economy towards a system emulating the natural world, i.e. a circular economy.  Featuring over 25 inspiring case studies describing design exemplars from the worlds of textile and fashion design, product design, architecture and urban design, this book’s purpose is to show designers how they can help dramatically reduce the negative impact humans have on Planet Earth by successfully navigating the emerging fields of resource management and the circular economy.

Each step is supplemented with an in depth interview with an expert who is successfully tackling one or more of these challenges that present all designers today and includes contributory essays from, among others, Professor Walter Stahel of the Product-Life Institute, and Professor Jonathan Chapman, author of ‘Emotionally Durable Design’.

Publisher RIBA Publishing
ISBN 9781859466445
Format Paperback
Language English
Pages 192
Date Published Apr 2017

Reuse is common sense: FCRBE campaign

Reuse is common sense: FCRBE campaign

Source text and video courtesy of:

FCRBE : Interreg : 

Reuse of building elements: will it soon be the norm in Europe?

Today in NW-Europe, only 1% of building elements are reused following their first application. Although a large number of elements are technically reusable, they end up being recycled by crushing or melting, or disposed. The result is a high environmental impact and a net loss of economic value. 

This project aims to increase by +50% the amount of reclaimed building elements being circulated on its territory by 2032.

Focusing on the northern half of France, Belgium, and the UK, the project also covers, with lesser intensity, the Netherlands, Ireland, the rest of France, and Luxembourg. This area houses thousands of SMEs specialized in the reclamation and supply of reusable building elements. Despite their obvious potential for the circular economy, these operators face significant challenges: visibility, access to meaningful projects and integration in contemporary building practices. Today, the flow of recirculated goods stagnate and may even decrease due to a lack of structured efforts.

To respond appropriately to these challenges, the project sets up an international partnership involving specialised organisations, trade associations, research centres, an architecture school and public administrations. It is rooted in earlier initiatives that were successfully initiated, on a local level.

These tools will be tested and promoted through 36 pilot operations taking place in large (de)construction projects, whereby more than 360 tons of elements will be reused. Effective communication efforts towards the stakeholders of the construction industry (including public authorities) will facilitate a smooth integration of these outputs into field practices and policies.


Source text and video courtesy of:

FCRBE : | Interreg : 

ReWind LGBTQI+ Monument

ReWind LGBTQI+ Monument

Watch the short documentary and discover how the synergy of various professionals and organizations created this amazing intervention of place-making.

“I think it’s an interesting way of thinking, too, for municipalities, to look at: “what do we actually have?” ..and every time we think: “We want the square differently”.. We could also think: “Can we do that with the ingredients that are already there?”

From the interview with Césare Peeren, ReWind LGBTQI+ Monument short documentary, June 2020.

ReWind LGBTQI+ Monument

A 12 minutes short documentary written, filmed, and edited by Denis Guzzo.

With: Monique Marijnissen, Césare Peeren, David Louf, Marjolijn van der Meijden, Talitha Nöllen and Gert-Jan Verboom as representatives of the LHBTI community of Rotterdam.

Languages: Dutch spoken | English subtitles | Commissioned by: Centre for Visual Arts (CBK) Rotterdam | Art & public space, Marjolijn van der Meijden | In cooperation with: initiators LGBTI monument for sexual- en gender diversity Rotterdam, Talitha Nöllen, Gert-Jan Verboom | ReWind LGBTIQ place-making: commissioned by Municipality of Rotterdam | Monique Marijnissen | Design ReWind: Superuse | Césare Peeren | Painting ReWind: David Louf / Mr June | Soundtracks: HUMAN – Sevdaliza Courtesy of MAKTUB & Full Crate | Japanese Suvenir by DeKibo, Premium beat | Subtitles translation: Tirsa With.

Follow a full photo reportage that display ‘before’, ‘during’ and ‘after’ the process of  place-making

It was 2012 while Rem Koolhaas’s Vertical City was being completed at the Maas river’s waterfront in Rotterdam; I have started the documentation of one of the most surprising designs I have ever seen in public space so far. Designed by Superuse, the ReWind urban bench at Willemsplein recalls a beautiful statement: “think big act small.” The object consists of reused discarded-windmills’ blades while the concrete blocks are made of 90% of recycled concrete material from local demolitions.

Above & below: the aerial views of ReWind at Willemsplein, Rotterdam ©  Denis Guzzo | 2012

Explore the complete series from 2012 on the postRE-USE.EU/BLADE MADE

While wind power has developed rapidly over the past years, many first-generation wind turbines’ economic life cycle is coming to an end. The latest research shows that, by 2050, we will face around 43 million tonnes of wind-turbine blade material waste worldwide.

On June 3rd, 2020, the blade-made object ReWind was placed back on Willemsplein, Rotterdam, with a strikingly colorful new look. Graphic designer and street painter David Louf a.k.a. Mr. June, made the design in collaboration with the Rotterdam group from the LGBTQI+ community and with the designer of ReWind, architect Césare Peeren.

RePainting ReWind by Mr June

Since 1985, David Louf has been operating under Mr. June’s name as an artist, street artist, graphic designer. At the age of 14, he was part of the hip-hop movement and performed as a breakdancer. After his studies at the Utrecht School of the Arts, he quickly named himself a graphic designer.

The street’s freedom turned out to be more attractive, and he has been one of the most famous street artists for quite some time. Worldwide he has provided buildings, floors, and facades with optical patterns. Via Césare Peeren, architect at Superuse Mr. June was introduced to the group of Rotterdammers from the LGBTQI + community, the monument’s initiators to sexual and gender diversity.

Above Image Slider: Mr.June painting ReWind inside the barn of a farm in the countryside of Rotterdam © Denis Guzzo 2020

ReWind installation

Above Image Slider: selected horizontal photos from the installation series.

Below: two selected photos from the installation series.

ReWind LGBTQI+ Monument

Above single image: vertical view of the newly installed ReWind | © Denis Guzzo 2020

Above Image Slider: selected vertical views of the newly installed ReWind | © Denis Guzzo 2020

Above Image Slider: selected horizontal views of the newly installed ReWind | © Denis Guzzo 2020

Learn more about the art and science of building with rotor blades

The post Blade Made shares the same title with the brochure created by Superuse regarding their projects realized by reusing discarded windmills blades.

The post includes an extended photo series and represents a compelling example of how we can transform our cities by reutilizing these extraordinary structural objects.

REUSE eBook by Macarthur Foundation

REUSE eBook by Macarthur Foundation

Reuse – Rethinking packaging, free eBook

Converting 20% of plastic packaging into reuse models is a USD 10 billion business opportunity that benefits customers and represents a crucial element in the quest to eliminate plastic waste and pollution.

This new release from the New Plastics Economy team provides a framework to understand reuse models by identifying six major benefits of reuse, and mapping 69 reuse examples. Based on an evaluation of more than 100 initiatives, and interviews with over 50 experts, it aims to inspire and help structure thinking. Reuse – Rethinking Packaging provides a basic description of how different reuse models work as well as typical implementation challenges.

It is not intended to be a detailed how-to implementation guide. The focus of this initial work is on packaging solutions in business-to-consumer (B2C) applications. While there certainly are many reuse opportunities in business-to-business (B2B) applications, these are generally better understood and adopted at scale already.

DOWNLOAD HERE the free eBook by Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Viisi Circular Office Design

Viisi Circular Office Design

Sponsored  by :

Between 2015 and 2016 pioneer architect Césare Peeren designed and realized part of the new interiors for VIISI’s headquarter, an ambitious and innovative company based in Amsterdam. At the end of 2016, the project won the Desko Circular Design Award powered by Desko.

A worn-out bowling alley floor, deadstock Trespa tabletops, vintage lamps, and ‘heraklith’ acoustic system ceiling panels were redesigned to give a sustainable yet classy looking ‘living room for academics’. The space is used both as a lunchtime canteen and evening seminar room.

This portfolio shows a broad insight during the different production steps: where the materials came from and how they have been treated and upcycled.

Divided in #10 main photo series, this reportage highlights the Superuse design practice with an accent on the craftsmanship of these fantastic makers: an homage to the master of crafts, their dedication, their ability to transform something that was discarded into innovative and beautiful designs.













Above image slider: Viisi’s headquarter in Amsterdam and the spaces before the intervention.


Built at the South East suburbia of Amsterdam at the beginning of the eighties, this building was demolished only a few weeks after the Superuse team performed the Material Harvest.

Nowadays, buildings are considered more as material storage, and therefore the best practice is that of providing the building with a material passport; increasing the value, or keeping the value of materials, products and components over time.

Above image slider: one of the locations where the Superuse team has been harvesting the materials.

The number of resources that such a complex can deliver would be actually enough to re-construct a small village off the grid.

Viisi’s new canteen project used a tiny part of the old sealing insulation, but it can be seen as a statement of how we could give a new life by smart deconstruction processes and re-designing.

Cèsare Peeren removing samples that will be later implemented as sound insulation for the Viisi’s canteen sealing.


Above image slider: a warehouse in the countryside outside Amsterdam, where the bowling halley floor was found thanks to Daan Spanjers.


Above image slider: the dead stock of Trespa found in Zaandam, the north of Amsterdam. According to previous projects’ s experience, the material can be sandblasted with stencils to refresh the esthetics with patterns that also provide the anti-slip function.


After harvesting the materials around Amsterdam, the selection has been displayed at the Superused House in Rotterdam.

Meanwhile, the design process has been executed according to the materials that were found; further selected and applied considering assignment’s need and fine-tuning the choices together with the client.

Samples were tested in terms of assembly possibilities. Options regarding treatments, such colors and textures have been also tested and evaluated before making the final choices.

Above image slider: the materials collected for the project.


The bowling alley floor has been up-cycled to become VIISI’s canteen tables, one of the most prominent features.

Metal frames reinforce the joints and provide a solid structure for smaller side-tables, which will be created with the same material as the floor due to the abundance of the found dead stock.

← Left: Cèsare Peeren visiting Roel de Boer, the builder of the first prototype for main tables,  in his workshop at the Northern district of Amsterdam.

Above image slider: at Superuse Lab the tables being made by Pieter De jong


Above image slider: some sketches of the new canteen;  the pattern that will be applied by sandblasting the Trespa plates has been created by repeating the company’s name.

Above image slider: testing different kinds of coatings to treat the new floor.

Below image slider: the prototype was installed at the Circular Design Award exhibition.

Above single image: the prototype was installed at the Circular Design Award exhibition.


Above image slider: everything comes finally together at VIISI’s canteen with Ken Wright and his team and Pieter de Jong / Superuse Lab.

Below: Details of the materials ready to be installed.

Above: selected horizontal photo from the building process. 


Found at the old Heineken first brewery and attached office building, the lamps have been saved before renovation works.

Probably from the sixties, they have been refurbished and provided with modern cabling and low energy consumption bulbs.

 The lamps have been installed across the whole floor of VIISI’s headquarter.


Above image slider: Césare Peeren refurbishing the lamps.

Below image slider: the Superuse Lab team installing the lamps.


Sponsored  by :

Above: the founders of  Viisi BV. From left to right: Frank Tukker, Hendrik Schakel, Hergen Dutrieux, Tom van der Lubbe to whom I am very grateful for sponsoring this documentation process and for all I have learned by working with and for them. Denis Guzzo

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RE-USE.EU NAPOLI Seminar & Workshops

RE-USE.EU NAPOLI Seminar & Workshops

The team of RE-USE.EU test run of our educational module in Napoli, Italy. The lecture and following workshops have been organized in collaboration with Archintorno, a local bureau of architects dedicated to the city’s regeneration.

The team of RE-USE.EU, has managed the program and designed the communication regarding the three stages of the initiative called RIUSO e AUTOCOSTRUZIONE.

Lead by architects Andrea Abita and Clara Bernardo, the activities took place in the fantastic location called ‘Le Scalze,’ the vacant church of S.Giuseppe at Pontecorvo. After staying vacant for many years, the building was damaged during an earthquake and became headquarter of associations devolved to citizens’ initiatives.

Archintorno has been focusing on regenerating the spaces according to the needs of the local community. A beautiful example is the rehearsal room, which was realized with a site specif acoustic study using only upcycled materials.

Above: the rehearsal room designed and built by Andrea Abita in collaboration with Archintorno.

RE-USE.EU & ]Archintorno[

The lecture and workshops have been divided into different modules, starting from the lecture’s theoretical approach in June, stretching until September with the practical workshops.
The workshop aimed to upgrade Archintorno’s headquarters’ space, a space at the upper floor of the church’s complex, with new interiors realized with locally harvested materials. The challenge consisted of creating foldable or quickly-assemblable tables and seats to support the activities within Archintorno’s limited space.

Above: the table ‘Tavolo448’ is a first example of the design approach realized by architect Andrea Abita in collaboration with Archintorno.


Introduced by Andrea Abita, Archintorno, the seminar approached the theme of reuse in architecture and design divided into three modules:

 .Inspirational session led by Denis Guzzo, which introduced creative reuse across history and cultures, showing an overview of documented projects and best practices.

.Intervention by Antonio Cerbone, president of the Regional Bound of Architects.

.Intervention by Paola Manfredi, RE MIDA, Napoli. 

.Regulatory session by Ph.D. Paola Altamura explained recent developments in regulations regarding reuse in architecture with several comparisons between European directives and Italian rules.

.Introduction to material harvest by Elisa Saturno, introducing the concept of adaptive design and the approach to geo-tagged material harvest platforms.



Above: an overview of the day of the seminar at ‘Le Scalze’, Napoli.


The following weeks have been characterized by intensive group research, devolved to harvest the potential source of materials to be further implemented in design and prototyping.

Above: lead by architect Andrea Abita and Elisa Saturno, a new catalog has been compiled, dividing different elemets and materials by characteristics and possible applications.


Also thanks to a call for materials across social media platforms some resources were found quickly.

Blade Made

Blade Made

At Superuse, waste rotor blades are seen as structural and aesthetic elements for large scale, worldwide use in design and architecture. Blade made designs reduce wind energy waste and provide an opportunity for later recovery of valuable composite materials.

If only 5% of The Netherlands’ yearly production of urban furniture such as playgrounds, public seating, and bus shelters were made using waste rotor blades, then all of The Netherlands’ estimated 400* waste rotor blades produced annually would be removed from the waste stream.

(* ~2000 wind turbines, assuming 15-year blade lifespan)

☢︎ = 1000 MW = ±10 tonne composite material

“Architects can play a fundamental role by using waste, and what’s more, ingenuity, to convert waste into structures that are useful, imaginative, and beautiful.”

Bahamón and Sa njinés 2010

Rematerial: From Waste to Architecture

Text: Superuse | Photography: © Denis Guzzo

a playground with added value and a smaller ecological footprint built for the same price as a comparable standard playground

The first ‘Wikado’ built at the Meidoorn playground at Old block at the North of Rotterdam, was built for the same budget as a comparable standard playground and has an ecological footprint fifty times smaller. The WIKADO playground was the winner of the 2009 European Environmental Design Award.

Above: aerial view of the Wikado playground designed by Superuse  © Denis Guzzo

The playground was designed to maximize imaginatively play, social interaction, and children driven game development. The inherent properties of rotor blades make this material an excellent choice: weather and wind resistant; organic, ergonomic shapes; and a strong and a rigid structure. The cylindrical portion of 30m long blades has a diameter of 1.4m and makes for interior play spaces. One of the five 30m blades was used intact.

The remaining four blades were cut into three sections. The four cylindrical end sections were transformed into play towers that stand around the central play zone. Each tower has a distinct and recognizable character: the ‘tower flat’ has three rooms with peeking holes; the ‘watchtower’ with a former F16 cockpit on top; the ‘water tower’ with a hand pump for children to pump water for mixing with sand; and, the ‘slide tower’ to which the original slippery slides from the site is attached.

The intact blade and remaining cut sections were overlaid as if pick-up-sticks in the classic children’s game ‘Mikado’. And indeed, the name ‘Wikado’ is derived from ‘Mikado’, and the
The Dutch word ‘wiek’ for rotor blades.

The overlaid blades give diversity of play spaces for toddlers through to older children and allows for different types of play activities. It creates a labyrinth in which children can endlessly chase each other, while also creating sheltered and interior spaces for other kinds of play.

Tensioned netting strung between the 4 towers is for climbing and also functions to create a play space for street football (the PannaVeld)

The the surface of the PannaVeld is made of ‘Nike gravel’, a flooring developed by Nike sports from shredded sneakers.

Above: the main view of the Wikado Playground designed by Superuse  © Denis Guzzo
Below: image slider with the photo series © Denis Guzzo

ReWind Almere

a durable and indestructible shelter

Designed shelters for the thousands of daily commuters to use the bus-train transfer station at Almere Poort. The durable and indestructible shelter design uses four 30m rotor blades. Waste rotor blades are easy to find in Almere, Holland’s #1 wind-energy region. Stacked in a Stonehenge like manner, two 30m blades are used to create a large shelter. Two of these large shelters are being built. The changing shape over the blades’ length gives a shelter roof that morphs into different forms depending on the angle from which it is viewed. Every part of the blade is used.

The blades were cut into four sections to harness the different inherent qualities along the blade’s length. This gives construction pieces that are essentially readymade for various construction purposes.

The strongest and heaviest part (former connection to the wind turbine axial) is used as roof supporting columns and the widest part of the roof’s blade. The blade’s tip is used for the long seating bench, and the circular end pieces are used for large planting pots placed around the site.

Above: the bus stop shelters at Almere Poort’s station designed by Superuse  © Denis Guzzo

ReWind Rotterdam

a seating with iconic quality

↑↓   ReWind at Willemsplein, Rotterdam

© Denis Guzzo 2012

The ReWind public seating is located at Willemsplein, a public square at the foot of the well-known Erasmus bridge; a public seating made from rotor blades was designed and installed for the Rotterdam municipality with joint funding from Joulz Energy Company.

The municipality were in need of durable, indestructible seating with iconic quality for people waiting to board harbour tour boats, but which could also be temporarily removed, when necessary, to make room for public events.

 Nine rotor blades from Friesland destined for incineration were used. 5 blades were used for seating, 3 as backrests, and 1 as place marker. By adjusting the angles and positions of the blades ergonomic public seating with a diversity of seating options was created. Seating depths vary from ±30cm to ±80cm, providing upright seating to more relaxed lounging options. The ±6m long blades, originally manufactured by Stork, are attached with bolts to 1m3 concrete aggregate blocks made heavy enough to keep the lightweight blades in place. The aggregate is 90% recycled concrete rubble from Rotterdam.

 The blocks have a pentagon footprint with a skewed 3D form that changes shape from different viewing angles. The tops of the blocks are oblique which puts the upright place marker blade at a slight angle, making it stand out against the predominantly vertical elements on the square.

 All blades were painted signal red, to bring colour to the stark grey surroundings of Willemsplein and to pick up on the red of Willemsbrug that can be seen further down the river.


Above: the main view of theReWind designed by Superuse  © Denis Guzzo
Below: detail of one of the concrete blocks holding the rotor blades.

selected horizontal photos of the ReWind at Willemsplein, Rotterdam | Denis Guzzo ©

Did you know?

In 2020 ReWind at Willemsplein in Rotterdam has been repainted and became a monument!

Find out more about the process of place-making that made possible the REUSE of the ReWind to become the new monument for Rotterdam’s sexual diversity.

The post includes the short documentary 12′ produced by Denis Guzzo for CBKRdam and the photo series of this intervention’s different steps.

Find out more on the post!  →

Resource Salvation: The Architecture of Reuse

Resource Salvation: The Architecture of Reuse


A valuable source of information, insight, and fresh ideas about a crucial aspect of the growing sustainable design movement

Author: Mark Gorgolewski

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
296 Pages paperback

eBook & oBook available

ISBN: 978-1-118-92877-6

Mounting resource shortages worldwide coupled with skyrocketing extraction costs for new materials have made the prospect of materials reuse and recycling an issue of paramount importance. A fundamental goal of the sustainable design movement is to derive utmost use from construction materials and components, including energy, water, materials, building components, whole structures, and even entire infrastructures. Written by an expert with many years of experience in both industry and academe, this book explores a wide range of sustainable design strategies which designers around the globe are using to create efficient and aesthetically pleasing buildings from waste streams and discarded items. Emphasizing performance issues, design considerations and process constraints, it describes numerous fully realized projects, and explores theoretical applications still on the drawing board.

There is a growing awareness worldwide of the need for cyclical systems of materials reuse. Pioneering efforts at “closed-loop” design date as far back as 1960s, but only recently have architects and designers begun to focus on the opportunities which discarded materials can provide for creating high performance structures. A source of insight and fresh ideas for architects, engineers, and designers, Resource Salvation:

  • Reviews the theory and practice of building material and waste reuse and describes best practices in that area worldwide
  • Describes projects that use closed-loop thinking to influence and inspire the design of components, interiors, whole buildings, or urban landscapes
  • Illustrates how using discarded materials and focusing on closed loops can lead to new concepts in architecture, building science, and urban design
  • Demonstrates how designers have developed aesthetically compelling solutions to the demands of rigorous performance standards 

Resource Salvation is a source of information and inspiration for architects, civil engineers, green building professionals, building materials suppliers, landscape designers, urban designers, and government policymakers. It is certain to become required reading in university courses in sustainable architecture, as well as materials engineering and environmental engineering curricula with a sustainable design component. 

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Adaptive Reuse of the Built Heritage

Adaptive Reuse of the Built Heritage


Concepts and Cases of an Emerging Discipline

Image and text courtesy of the Publisher
Publisher : Routledge
Paperback : 256 pages
Language: English
ISBN-10 : 1138062766

Adaptive reuse – the process of repairing and restoring existing buildings for new or continued use – is becoming an essential part of architectural practice. As mounting demographic, economic, and ecological challenges limit opportunities for new construction, architects increasingly focus on transforming and adapting existing buildings.

This book introduces adaptive reuse as a new discipline. It provides students and professionals with the understanding and the tools they need to develop innovative and creative approaches, helping them to rethink and redesign existing buildings – a skill which is becoming more and more important. Part I outlines the history of adaptive reuse and explains the concepts and methods that lie behind new design processes and contemporary practice. Part II consists of a wide range of case studies, representing different time periods and strategies for intervention. Iconic adaptive reuse projects such as the Caixa Forum in Madrid and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam are discussed alongside less famous and spontaneous transformations such as the Kunsthaus Tacheles in Berlin, in addition to projects from Italy, Spain, Croatia, Belgium, Poland, and the USA.

Featuring over 100 high-quality color illustrations, Adaptive Reuse of the Built Heritage is essential reading for students and professionals in architecture, interior design, heritage conservation, and urban planning.


About the Authors

Bie Plevoets holds a PhD in architecture and works on theory of adaptive reuse in the research group Trace – Adaptive Reuse and Heritage in the Faculty of Architecture and Arts at Hasselt University, Belgium. She teaches courses on adaptive reuse at BA and MA levels.

Koenraad Van Cleempoel is Professor of Art History in the Faculty of Architecture and Arts at Hasselt University, Belgium, where he is also a member of the research group Trace. He was previously holder of the Pieter Paul Rubens Chair at the University of California, Berkeley, USA.

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Zero Waste Building

Zero Waste Building


Duration: 10 minutes | Languages: Italian spoken with English subtitles


The short documentary ‘Zero-waste building’ quotes the title of the book published in 2016 by the protagonist Paola Altamura, Ph.D. architect at “Sapienza” the University of Rome, co-founder of the Atlante Inerti Project.


The documentary gives a broad overview of regulatory limitations and some examples of the potential for reuse in the industrial and design fields.

The interview was filmed within a context that sees the author involved within the European network to expand the Harvest Map in the area around Milan.

Thanks to the commitment of companies, institutions, and the synergy of Italian researchers and designers, we can bring to the public and the political world issues and examples of virtuous projects that allow us to continue the discussion on reuse and related regulations.

‘Superuse’ is cited as a term that identifies the long path of research and experimentation carried out by Superuse: the well-known Rotterdam studio: pioneers who have contributed to changing the perception of ‘waste’ for more than twenty years into ‘resource.’

Harvest Map Milan Expansion

Harvest Map Milan Expansion

Now online the video report about the expansion of the Harvest Map in the area of Milan, Italy.

Related to the project Villa Maggiore ;  this documentation display the workshop given by Dutch pioneer architect Césare Peeren, Superuse on Site: according to the SuperUse philosophy WASTE SHOULD NOT EXIST.

The harvest map is a powerful tool that can help architects and designers to create an urban environment with a circular economy. You can see us running on espressos to catch the Italian waste created by local industries so it can be superused from now on! thanks to Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie NL, Elisa Saturno, Politecnico di Milano, Giacimenti Urbani, Tempo Riuso, and the harvest team.

An Italian villa is used as a teaching ground by Dutch waste architects to spread circular design tools, methods, and thinking to Italian designers, architects, contractors, and industry.

The project culminated in waste materials from industries around Milan being up-cycled to design furniture for the 450m2 interior fit-out which was designed and built on-site in 4 weeks in ‘Furniture Jam Sessions’ with 14 international waste designers.

Thought by Superuse on site, Césare Peeren | With Refunc, CRO2O, Studio CIFRA, and many others.

Find out more on the post →

The Future of Architecture

The Future of Architecture

Author: Herman Hertzberger, Anna Heringer, Jean-Philippe Vassal
With contribuitions by: Kamiel Klaasse, Nanne de Ru, Jan Jongert, Marijn Schenk, Hedwig Heinsman, Rudy Stroink.

Publisher: Uitgever:nai010 Uitgevers
ISBN: 978-94-6208-082-9

At eighty, internationally acclaimed Dutch architect Herman Hertzberger invited colleagues and students to reflect on the future of architecture. While questioning the profession’s status as ‘the discipline par excellence that has lent itself to the representation of a new, better world’, Hertzberger acknowledges that ‘it is exactly when the ground under your feet is collapsing that you need elevation’.

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Superuse on site: Villa Maggiore

Superuse on site: Villa Maggiore


Curated by Superuse on Site, Césare Peeren and RE-USE.EU team.

Photos by Denis Guzzo

An Italian villa is used as a teaching ground by Dutch waste architects to spread circular design tools, methods, and thinking to Italian designers, architects, contractors, and industry.

The project culminated in waste materials from industries around Milan being up-cycled to design furniture for the 450m2 interior fit-out which was designed and built on-site in 4 weeks in ‘Furniture Jam Sessions’ with 14 international waste designers.

The ‘Villa Maggiore’ project led by Superuse on Site, Césare Peeren also used waste materials in the building renovation, minimal remodeling, and passive and zero-energy systems to transform the disused villa to zero energy, circular holiday home to showcase circular design in Italy.


Above: Mel Feldmuller is enjoying the view from Villa Maggiore’s second floor.

The challenge has been primarily about reducing the amount of energy used in the house, ensuring that the power needed is produced as sustainably as possible. If the ‘Villa’ can produce all energy it needs, it will technically become a ‘zero’ energy home.

Firstly, the actual climate conditions need to be examined across different seasons to determine a proper heating and cooling strategy. Prevailing hot and cold winds and temperature exchange across different sides and floors can be implemented through the Villa’s architecture, increasing the comfort and micro-climates.
Being the Northern Lakes area traditionally rich in silk industries, it was not difficult to find many types of dead stock textiles used as a bumper to insulate the walls from the room’s space.

↑ Above image slider: creating the silk bumpers for the wall insulation experiment and the central room of the 1st floor during the silk bumper installation.

↓ Below: the very first improvised office table by Superuse on site at Villa maggiore. 


Scouting materials from laptops and on the road

During the end of 2017, in collaboration with Cèsare Peeren, the team Harvest Map Italy was formed. Harvest Map is an open-source web platform for sharing waste material finds. With the support of Dutch and local organizations, the platform is now available in the Italian language, implemented with many of the finds scouted during the workshop at Villa Maggiore.


.Funded by: ‘The Netherlands Stimulerings Funds’.

.Taught by: Césare Peeren, Mel Feldmuller, Elisa Saturno.

.Supported by: Politecnico Milano; Tempo Riuso (Isabella Inti e Matteo Persichino).
.Harvest conducted by: Elisa Saturno.
.Masters students of the Temporary Use course of DASTU departmenT of the Milan Politecnico.
(Raffaella Nigro, Angela Panzeri, Daniel Romano).
.Other design and architecture students (Stefano Napoli, Delfina Villa Graziani Bandiera).
.Professor Paola Altamura and Giulia Chiummiento (La Sapienza University, Rome).
.Harvest Map Italy | Italian translation funded by: Dutch Embassy, and, Consulate general of the Netherlands in Milan.

RE-USE.EU | Superuse, Rotterdam, NL | Giacimenti Urbani, Milan, IT

↑ Above: the Harvest Map Italia team supervised by Mel Feldmuller and Elisa Saturno at Villa Maggiore

Waste materials suitable for use in the project were ‘harvested’. Italian architecture and design students were taught how to find or ‘harvest’ new resources for design in ‘Harvesting Workshops’ held at the Villa. More than 130 materials with potential for use in design and architecture were in the following year in the region around Milan.

Above image slider: the Furniture Jam Sessions: Superuse on site, at villa Maggiore.
Below image slider: an overview of the harvested material for the project.


Above image slider: an overview of the harvested material for the project.
Below image slider: some insight of our days at Villa Maggiore, THANK YOU to our super chef Paolo!


REFUNC: Tokyo,Paris and Melbourne

Holiday hotel rooms with shower and washbasin on the second floor. 

Superused materials: wood; window frames; exhibition perspex; wooden roller blinds; fire hose; fire extinguisher trolleys; fire extinguishers, nozzles, and brackets; foam board; lightboxes; wooden louver doors.

Above: the main view of the Tokyo room by REFUNC.
Below image slider: some details from the Tokyo room.


Above: the main view of the Paris room by REFUNC.
Below image slider: some details from the Paris room.

 ‘Melbourne’ by Refunc

Above: the main view of the ‘Melbourne’ room. Below: some details.

Co2RO: “Firehosescape”

Superused materials: foam board sandwich panels, fire hose, fire extinguishers, fire extinguisher nozzles, fire extinguisher trolleys, deadstock laminate, foam sheets, first split neoprene, metal post holders.

Above: main views of the living room and the ‘Firehosescape’. Below: some details.

Studio CIFRA: dining table, dining cabinet and Cloak room wardrobe and storage cupboard.

Superused materials: Larch wood from discarded school fence, exhibition waste materials (engraved perspex, Black and White display boxes, wooden boxes, MDF board, metal frames, foam board), sheets of laser cut metal waste.

Above: main views of the dining room by Studio Cifra. Below: some details.

Studio CIFRA: Cloak room wardrobe and storage cupboard.

Superuse on site Team ‘Boxed’: travel chests and cupboards in ‘Sao Paulo Favella’, ‘Beijing’ Room and ‘New York’. 

Superused materials: black and white display boxes, fire extinguisher nozzles, wooden roller blinds, louver doors, fire hose, horse riding jump pole, fire extinguishers, neoprene.

‘Beijing’ Room  by Superuse on site Team

‘NEW YORK’  by Superuse on site Team


Bathrooms have been restored with leftovers of Malta. Malta is a water-based resin product by I-containers. It is already known as an eco-friendly resin alternative.


This project is about the transformation of an Italian villa to zero energy, circular holiday home by introducing and using locally sourced waste materials. The restoration and furniture fit-out has been realized by minimizing interventions, using passive heating/cooling strategies, and, topping up remaining energy needs with a zero energy system. 

The interior fit-out is entirely from waste materials sourced from the Milan region over the previous year. The interior was custom built on-site by an international group of waste designer/builders in 2 x 2 week ‘furniture jam sessions’.

As for music jam sessions, though materials and conditions were supplied there was no pre-defined plan or design. 

Above: Césare Peeren and the team of Harvest Map Italia during material scouting at Villa Maggiore.


‘Villa Maggiore’ is in the Northern Lakes district of Italy. It is a 450m2, 1920s villa spread over three floors, a cellar, and attic. The second floor was never finished, and, the villa was not used for the last ten years. The second floor had no windows, unfinished concrete walls, an exposed wooden ceiling, and no fittings.


The ‘Villa Maggiore’ project was led by Superuse on Site, Césare Peeren with the support and collaboration from a large group of Dutch and Italian participants (See above: Villa Maggiore Project Fact Sheet). Workshops and lectures are often conducted integrated within the projects to facilitate the process and knowledge exchange across countries and designers.

Césare Peeren is one of the co-founders of Superuse Studios which pioneered waste up-cycling in Architecture over twenty years ago. Since then Superuse Studios has been developing tools and strategies to make architecture and building more sustainable by minimising new resource and energy use. Césare now has a mobile studio that lives and works at project sites.

Above: Césare Peeren during material scouting nearby Villa Maggiore.

See also the short video report about
→ Harvest Map Milan Expansion


Waste materials suitable for use in the project were ‘harvested’. Italian architecture and design students were taught how to find, or ‘harvest’ suitable waste in ‘Harvesting Workshops’ held at the villa. From this more than 130 waste materials with potential for use in design and architecture were found over the following year in the region around Milan.

 Publicly available waste materials were posted on ‘Harvest Map’, an open source web platform developed by Superuse Studios to connect suppliers and users of waste. As a result of this project, the Italian version of Harvest Map was developed. Harvest Map Italy was launched in March 2018 at ‘Fa’ la cosa giusta’ fair in Milan. Twentytwo of the waste materials found were used in ‘Villa Maggiore’. Other projects have now also used materials posted on Harvest Map (Williams bar (Milan); exhibition stand at Fa’ la cosa giusta (Milan) 2018). Local contractors used leftover first cut industrial neoprene as sound insulating floor underlay. This was topped with a re-used exhibition floor. They also used project leftovers of Malta, a natural water based resin (used instead of tiles) which was applied in a new way so that product and colour variations became an asset. In early 2019 leftover metal sheets from a laser cutting company will also be repurposed for a fence and for pillars of the pergola to be built in the garden at the Villa to carry solar panels. 2 x 2 week Furniture Jam Sessions produced the new upcycled interiors. Four teams of waste designer/builders lived and worked on site as designers-in-re- sidence to design and custom build from supplied waste materials 3 hotel bedbedrooms with showers, 4 holiday home bedrooms, storage room, lamps, dining room, the lounge and a cloak room for 14. 

The ‘furniture jam sessions’ supervised by Césare Peeren were done with waste artisans from The Netherlands, Berlin, Barcelona, and Milan. The project is coming to completion with the installation of solar panels and various passive and technical heating and cooling systems are being finalised. New works were minimised and kept essentially to 4 bathroom upgrades, the addition of double glazed windows and an insulated ceiling to the second floor. Even the unfinished second floor was left relatively untouched, with only a transparent coat of paint to seal the concrete and wooden beams. 

Passive heating, cooling and ventilation strategies are to: use the different existing microclimates and create some new ones inside and outside the villa; use the existing rock mass for summer cooling; use the existing central stairwell for natural ventilation; use shutters and windows to variously shade, insulate and ventilate as weather conditions allow; install ground pipe for constant 14 degrees celsius ventilating air in conjunction with the natural tendency for warm high staircase; install insulating curtains to insulate interior walls; and install internal insulating window shutters. The zero energy system developed for the villa uses two systems of air-water heat exchangers powered by solar panels to produce hot water for showers and low temperature convectors.


See also the short video report about
→ Harvest Map Milan Expansion

2017.09 | The Harvest Map Italia team supervised by Mel Feldmuller at Villa Maggiore


  • 2017.03 – 2018.06 Climate study; renovation plan; bathroom designs.
  • 2017.09 – 2017.10 Harvest Map workshops with Italian design/architecture students and practitioners to teach skills regarding how to source locally available waste materials for use in design and architecture.
  • 2018.03-2018.04 Harvest Map Italy (in Italian) launched with lectures, presentations, and fair exhibits in Italy, including ‘Fà’ la cosa giusta’.
  • 2017.10 – 2018.07 Development of zero energy system and passive strategies to manage internal villa climate.
  • 2018.09 – 2018.10 450m2 interior fit-out with 2 x 2 week ‘furniture jam sessions’.

Find out more about the working approach 

Costruire a zero rifiuti. Strategie e strumenti per la prevenzione e l’upcycling dei materiali di scarto in edilizia

Costruire a zero rifiuti. Strategie e strumenti per la prevenzione e l’upcycling dei materiali di scarto in edilizia

Author: Paola Altamura with contribuitions by Serena Baiani,

Eliana Cangelli,Fabrizio Orlandi, Giovanni Zannoni.

Publisher: FrancoAngeli, 2015

ISBN: 8891725676

Acquista il libro o eBook in Italiano 

→ English  version not available 🙁

The use of materials in construction involves high environmental costs: consumption of soil and raw materials, CO2 emissions, and vast waste production, which can only be avoided using closed-cycle resources, from cradle to cradle. The prevention and upcycling of construction and demolition waste materials and other supply chains are decisive for the building’s ecological impact, which can no longer be entrusted exclusively to energy efficiency during use.

The volume presents the features of an innovative design-operational approach to construction, with zero waste, to induce a rethinking of the logic of selecting materials. Alongside a framework of theoretical and regulatory references, the text illustrates the potential for reusing and recycling the most used materials. It presents seven international best practices useful for understanding a variety of practical strategies.
Therefore, the volume proposes a systematic set of procedures and tools aimed at the three leading operators in the construction chain: client, designer, and contractor. Design principles, technical details, criteria for calls for tenders and tenders, IT tools to address innovative but substantially urgent questions:
– how to design with recycled components and materials?
– how to allow a zero-waste transformation or disposal of the building?
– how to build a tender specification that favors the procurement of sustainable products?
The book thus offers an in-depth investigation of efficiency in the use of resources in construction. It attempts to transfer to Italy through technical and operational guidelines that meet the most up-to-date environmental requirements.

The book thus offers an in-depth investigation of efficiency in the use of resources in construction. It attempts to transfer to Italy through technical and operational guidelines that meet the most up-to-date environmental requirements.

Find out more regarding Paola Altamura’s research and her Atlanti Inerti Project in the dedicated post. The documentary gives a broad overview of regulatory limitations and some examples of the potential for reuse in the industrial and design fields.

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