Posts Tagged ‘rubble’

Beirut the Fantastic

Monday, November 7, 2011

Beirut-based architect Sandra Rishani keeps a blog of her visions of what the city could be. Beirut the Fantastic posts outline proposals for upgrading and greening forgotten and unused spaces or places that have not reached their full potential. Her latest post focuses on the rubble of the 2006 war between Lebanon and Israel and how that rubble could be used to create a beautiful seaside memorial.



What I love about the blog is that Rishani writes about what are ostensibly pipe dream projects, but breaks them down step by practical step. In this case, for example, she goes into the history of the rubble, who dumped it where, current legal ownership of the materials and examples from around the world of war rubble upcycled into public parks and memorials.

Thanks for the tip, Lucy!

Al-Azhar Park

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Where there was once a dump, there is now green space. Al-Azhar Park in Cairo, Egypt grew out of a project of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, aimed at revitalizing the Darb al-Ahmar neighborhood and restoring and showcasing the area’s historic art and architecture.

Al-Azhar Park in Cairo, once a rubble dump

Al-Azhar Park in Cairo, once a rubble dump

For the full story of this transformation, check out this fantastic post from City Parks Blog, complete with links to a PBS video. One estimate cited in the project overview found that the amount of green space per resident of Cairo was about a footprint before Al-Azhar. I hope it’s a little better now.

Photo via Tines Egyptian

Recycling rubble

Friday, December 5, 2008
Photo of the demolition of  a similar wall in Gaza by Khalil Hamra/AP, ripped from

Photo of the demolition of a similar wall in Gaza by Khalil Hamra/AP, ripped from

The Red Cross will use the rubble of a wall knocked down by fighters in Gaza to line and complete a long-delayed rainwater ditch project, according to an article in the International Herald Tribune today.  Apparently, construction materials are  so hard to clear through the Israeli and Egyptian borders during these tense times that even international development agencies are suffering and, according to the article, forced to scrounge and scavenge like everyday Gazans.

The International Committee of the Red Cross has been trying to make do by scouring Gaza for materials it can use. It’s a survival technique perfected by ordinary Gazans, who use vegetable oil for car fuel when gasoline is in tight supply and ancient kerosene stoves when natural gas runs out. Gazans dig tunnels into Egypt to haul in everything from chocolate to computers.

The situation has gotten so bad that the Red Cross, a Swiss and otherwise neutral organization, issued a frustrated statement saying that the Israeli government holds up deliveries so long that this project would not have been completed had it not been for salvaged materials.

Like many aspects of the Middle East conflict, this story is a messy mix of uplifting and heartbreaking.  It is wonderful to read about resourcefulness in the face of conflict and terrible to read about politics standing in the way people’s basic needs for infrastructure and security.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

rubble Photographer Manuel Branco takes pictures of dumpsters, trash and rubble.  Like gartog colleagues Chris Jordan and Last Night’s Garbage, Branco’s work magnifies and abstracts these commonly ignored subjects.  The result is a glossy and unique collection of images that dwell on color and force the viewer to examine discarded materials in a new light.  Some of these photos can be found in the book DUMPSTERS, TRASH and RUBBLE – Elements of Abstraction which is for sale and will soon be updated in an expanded version.  Check out more of Branco’s work on Flickr, JPG Magazine or imagekind.

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