Cradle-to-cradle design for a Smart Recycling Factory
Project: SRF
Location: Minden, Germany
Client: The waste management company of the Minden-Lübbecke District and Kreisabfallverwertungsgesellschaft mbH Minden-Lübbecke
Project Team: Architekturbüro Lindstedt, Rainer Schmidt Landschaftsarchitekten, studio 8FOLD
Timescale: Competition in 2020
Size: Hub 3,500 m2, entire site 84 Ha

This project proposed the development of a Smart Recycling Factory (SRF) to establish a new paradigm in waste management at an existing disposal and landfill site in Germany. To demonstrate the cradle-to-cradle principles of a circular economy, the SRF would be created and constructed entirely from refurbished, existing buildings or materials harvested direct from the site.

Whilst being a pragmatic, functioning recycling facility, the SRF would also provide research and development accommodation, classrooms, laboratories and a visitor centre so that the public could witness new developments in the field of waste management.

The design sought to re-use existing structures and infrastructure, including the old weighing station and road network, and where appropriate introduce new elements constructed from materials, such as rammed-earth, harvested direct from the site. The ambition was that through the design and delivery process, the SRF would demonstrate a new way of thinking about regenerative cycles and the promotion of recycled products. These products would exhibit longer lifespans that could be used multiple times.

The design and concept for the SRF was developed as part of a competition entry in 2020 by an international team based in Germany and the UK.

Our hope is that the regenerative thinking behind it can be re-used and recycled in future projects.”