The Beehive

Raffaelo Rosselli / Luigi Rosselli Architects

The beehive explores how an undervalued waste product, like the ubiquitous terracotta roof tile can be redefined and revalued.

This exploration of waste as a material stems from the knowledge that construction creates up to 50 percent of Australia’s waste output; and that a buildings energy footprint is largely based on the materials embodied energy. Material reuse solves both these environmental impacts and is by far the most efficient form of building.

Raffaello Rosselli collaborated with Luigi Rosselli architects to design their new office building.

Through experimenting with waste material reuse on its own studio it aims to be a role model for future projects.

Inserted between a century old brick warehouse and a row of Victorian terrace houses on what was once a small carpark, the Beehive refuses an immediate reading at first sight. Upon approach, the use of stacked terracotta tiles in the façade is revealed, reconfigured into a rhythmic Brise-soleil.

The project explores the perceived limitations of terracotta tiles and celebrates the layers of filigree and geometric complexity that can be found in the overlooked terracotta tile.

Utilising recycled materials from the start rather than an afterthought, the terracotta tile was chosen as it is a ubiquitous material without an established reuse market.

The project is a celebration of the immediacy and the unpredictability of creation using what is discarded or found rather than new materials, by creating a new bricolage that demonstrate how waste products can be reimagined and reused with minimal energy.