bottle walls provide beautiful lighting effects in sunlight and when lit at night
Several hundred bottles where salvaged for building the Groundhouse in Brittany. Bottle walls provide light and beauty. They are simply stunning set in adobe or as a jeweled lime wall. Bottles came from local bars in Mellionnec and Brighton. My personal favourite is the large light blue diamond Sapphire Gin, closely followed by the deep blue Ty Nant Water Bottle.
Given the effect, it’s surprising bottle walls are not used more often. It’s more surprising when you realise what an old idea it is. In the 1920‘s a full scale bottle house was made in the goldrush town of Rhyolite.
In the 1960’s Alfred Heineken came up with the World Bottle, or WOBO, the ideal brick for holding beer! This can be seen in the film below.
Making a bottle brick
Using a table-top tile cutter, cut the necks off a bottle. This gives you a glass cup. Tape two of these together, using gaffer tape. Measure your cuts so that your bottle brick is the width of the wall you are building. Use either lime, cement or adobe mortar to lay the bottle bricks.
For external walls, mark out your pattern on a piece of insulation board. Drill holes to slide the bottle bricks into. Fix the board into a timber frame and insert the bottles. Lime render or mud plaster around the protruding bottles leaving a centimetre of bottle protruding. Apply the final coat and sponge around the bottles to get a smooth finish.