Flooring material made with admixture of scrap mirror glass (Global Common 3, Italian Pavilion)

Generally speaking, recycled materials made by mixing waste materials with other (virgin) materials have a wider scope of application that those made solely with waste materials. The water bowls made with scrap porcelain were made by mixing in powder made by crushing pottery shards. Similarly, the road bed materials made with scrapped tires contain chips of rubber from them. The Italian Pavilion in Global Common 3 uses flooring material that was made by mixing in fine fragments of glass from mirrors and other items.

Floor in the vicinity of the Italian Pavilion exit

The company that produced this flooring materials manufactures products using about 1,500 tons of scrap mirror glass and 100 tons of scrap transparent and colored glass per year. Measuring some 900 square meters, the flooring of the Italian Pavilion consists of material made with mirror glass. More specifically, in composition, this material is 68 percent quartz, 25 percent scrap glass, and 7 percent polyester resin, with traces of additives. After they are mixed together and undergo a complex manufacturing process, these constituents are transformed into flooring with a high strength. Surface polishing brings out the scattered mirror fragments, whose glitter beautifully sets off an elegant design befitting Italian tradition. We urge people visiting the Italian Pavilion to take a good look at this sparkling floor.

Floor surface

Formerly, the focal point in material recycling was effective use of materials. The recycling behind the flooring in the Italian Pavilion could come to the fore as a new method, in that it not only makes effective use of scrap glass without any particular treatment but also transforms it into a highly artistic product (with a high additional value).