Santa Marianita, in the Manabí province of Ecuador, hugs the Pacific along the country’s western shoreline. VIVA came to this small community with a mission: to make a place for its people to read and borrow books. Our office specializes in projects with environmental design and environmental components. There was a need for a library to complement the school building, which is short on space and overcrowded.
We reached out to Coca-Cola for help. Coca-Cola partnered with us before on an earlier project in Quito, Ecuador. Coca-Cola contributed, and so the Santa Marianita library project was born.
The building plan required securing some 2,600 polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles. The design team then wanted to string the bottles together inside the wooden structure of the new library and create an airy, opaque section of the building.
We required bottles in a uniform shape, size and condition for her design, which involved fusing the 2,600 PET bottles with traditional Ecuadorean building materials of giant bamboo and locally sourced wood. Because used bottles are subject to prior wear and tear, their nonuniformity presented real challenges for the design team.
To solve the problem, Coca-Cola donated unused bottles, many of which had been turned down for consumer use at their plants. But for each bottle used, we collected post-consumer bottles from the community to go to a PET recycling program. Since the projects had a social component, communities were very interested in collecting the bottles to serve a good cause, and this helped divert those bottles from the landfill.
Santa Marianita, Manta, Ecuador
septiembre 01, 2012