Floating House

A teacher in a public school, in the city of Rio de Janeiro, used a popular news story from a few years ago to stimulate the creativity of her students living in a poor area of town. Showing this house as an example of how recycling along with creativity can help solve some problems. The exercise lesson that she created after discussing this article with her students allowed the kids to construct chairs from recycled soda bottles.

Article from Folha de Sao Paulo, dated 03/01/2007:                                                        

“We live in a capitalist system, which gives the right to prosperity, which gives me the right to have my private island,” Luiz Fernando Barreto de Queiroz Bishop, 40, explains. Who lives in a house constructed out of recycled trash that floats on the water in one of the most polluted canals in Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro.

His house was made ​​on eight, cubic meter blocks of polystyrene foam and 4000 soda bottles. The bathroom has a full bath tub. In the “ground”, there is a garden of synthetic grass, a red carpet and an Opal 1982, purchased for $1,000 reais. Apart from the Opal and the cement construction material everything else including; bed and sofa, were found in the canal.

The new house shakes with the arrival of visitors despite appearing firm after they go on board. “I used things that pollute the canal that the government should clean up.” Built with plastic bottles and furnished with old furniture removed from the bay, Bishop did not have the approval of the public environmental institution SERLA (State Superintendent of Rivers and Lakes), which has tried to fine him. He was notified that he was guilty of “invasion with intent to occupy public waters of the state domain” and needed to withdraw from there.

However, the house was saved from an order of removal by SERLA because the Secretary of State for Environment Carlos Minc became involved and intervened on behalf of Bishop. According to Bishop, his house “is the Mona Lisa of the neighborhood, a work of art that everyone wants to see”.



9 thoughts on “Floating House

  1. That is very interesting. Certainly speaks to the need of the cleaning of this canal. I would be interested to see more pictures of the interior of the house. As for the man and his house, I see nothing wrong with that! lol

  2. I don’t understand goverment. They seem to only care about their private agenda. I believe that what this man did was truly inspired. He took trash that nobody wanted out of the canal and used it to create something useful: a home. I wish more people understood how important our planet is. We, as human beings who continuously create waste, need to remember that there is only one Earth and we should be more aware of our environment and find ways to reverse the ways we have polluted it.

  3. Mr. bishops “house” represents a very green way to live. not only do you see the creativity, in making his house out of all recycled material, and living on a rivier, he is showing how it is possibly to really make the best out of a crumby situation. as a wise man os said “one mans trash is another mans treasue” and Mr.bishop’s house is proof of that.

  4. I live in Brazil and I remember when this news hit the papers. Here is a link to an interview with the man who built this house. He talks about his personal life and how he built the house in just two months. The interview is very fun. This man is unique.

  5. This man’s home is a work of art. To get rid of something like this would have been beyond logical; I’m glad the Secretary of State for Environment became involved. I hope that more homes are created this way, it’s not only creative, it’s environmentally sound as well!

  6. Take a look at the video that a person talked about in a previous comment. Between 06:28 and 07:41 it shows the interior of the house and a photo with the guy confortable in the sofa. That is great!

  7. It seems that this house can bring some excitement to my students about recycling. I think this video, even in Portuguese, is a good tool to awake the curiosity and interest in recycling. I can imagine the questions and comments that will arise around this subject.

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