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Waste House set to star in Brighton Festival
A house made entirely of rubbish will open as a Brighton Festival venue for three weeks.
The Waste House on the University of Brighton campus will host Salt Field by Brighton-based Phillip Hall-Patch during this year’s festival.
The first use of the recycling project inspired by Channel Four presenter Kevin McCloud precedes a grand opening planned for the summer.
The team behind the project are currently carrying out finishing touches, including fixing 1,300 carpet tiles to the exterior as cladding.
The tiles, which are notoriously difficult to recycle or resale with 95% of them going to landfill, were given to the project by grateful local charity Furniture Now where the tiles had been taking up space in their warehouse.
The tiles have been rigorously tested for their ability to withstand the elements and fire and the team hope that their use will inspire residents to use them for extensions, outbuildings and sheds instead of using new timber.
The interior walls will be finished off with reused timber and plywood taken from a giant Totem pole the team created for an event in London while wiring and plumbing work also needs to be completed.
Light fittings for the house, based at the university site in Grand Parade in Brighton, has come from an old commercial shipping vessel which is among thousands that are stripped and left as wrecks off the country’s coast in a notoriously dangerous and underpaid industry.
Vinyl street banners used to highlight events, which again are notoriously difficult to recycle because their metal eyelets prevent shredding, are being used to waterproof the house.
Twenty tonnes of material left over from the project will also be given to students and community groups to sculptures and landscaping around the house.
After the festival the house will be used as a research and community centre and will be available for hire, with a grand opening planned for June 13.
The project’s “chief scavenger” Cat Fletcher said: “We are not trying to be kooky, we are trying to highlight green issues and problems to really ordinary goods we all have in our lives which currently go to waste.
“We are helping commercial companies, third sector groups and all sorts of people reconsider what they do with their stuff.
“It’s really exciting to be opening for the festival.”
Artist Philip Hall Patch, whose work will be on display from May 3 to 25, said: “Salt is usually seen as a common material but the history of salt is fascinating, up to the end of the last century it was still used as currency in Africa and the term salary comes from salt.
“I think it really fits in with the waste house where rubbish is being repurposed and given new value.
“A lot of waste house is on display, they have not tried to hide anything, and because salt is so white and pure it will stand out in the Waste House where as it may not have done in a white installation space.”
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