French architect Stephane Malka has recently completed a study for a student residence in Paris, reusing wooden pallets to create a new, versatile skin for the building. In a critique of typical ecological strategies, which Malka claims “often generate an over-production of materials, becoming energy-vores and clients of factories, the polluters of the world,” the architect reuses the wooden pallet, which becomes a module in his design. For Malka, “the real ecological combat is within the reappropriation of materials and experimentations with ready-made objects.”
Held using horizontal hinges, the wooden pallets can contract towards the top, allowing privacy or large openings. The modularity of the various palettes creates diverse geometries based on use, which are constantly regenerated and create rather spectacular effects.
Beyond the visuals, Malka wants this project to convey a new strategy, which is based in a de facto ecology of means. “The reappropriation of materials recycles the existing without additional processing, which would cost energy in terms of production and create byproduct pollution,” the architect states. “The real environmental approach consists not in destruction, but in superimposing interventions upon our built heritage.”