AME-LOT student housing is made entirely out of recycled pallets


July 12, 2011

The AME-LOT student housing project is made entirely out of recycled pallets

(Image by Malka Architecture)

The AME-LOT student housing project is made entirely out of recycled pallets (Image by Malka Architecture)

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AME-LOT is a recent material reuse building plan from French architectural firm Malka, in which student housing is primarily made up of a variety of reused pallets which are added to an existing structure. The technique not only creates a striking architectural display, but also ensures that no existing building is destroyed, thus minimizing its carbon footprint.

Particularly interesting to note is the light shielding system, featuring wooden pallets that can geometrically change shape. Connected together using horizontal hinges, the pallets slide inwards and upwards to allow natural light to filter through when open, or to provide added privacy when closed.

The project has been designed for Rue Amelot in Paris, and boasts an area of 450 square meters (538 square yards). With a budget of EUR 290,000 (US$416,425), the student housing project appears to be a financially feasible option that may grab the attention of other urban planners.

Stating that "architecture can no longer exist in a unilateral system," Malka claims that AME-LOT is a solution for what can be considered "sustainable/environmentally friendly" architecture.

Source: Archdaily

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Bridget Borgobello Bridget is an experienced freelance writer, presenter and performer with a keen eye for innovative design and a passion for green technology. Australian born, Bridget currently resides in Rome and when not scribbling for Gizmag, she spends her time developing new web series content and independent cinema. All articles by Bridget Borgobello

I wonder how they stop the damned things from weathering and rotting etc., since many pallets are made from the crapiest of timbers.

There is also the other issue - that nothing quite burns as well as a stack of DRY wooden pallets.....

A whole yard filled with stacks of them goes even better.

Very fierce.

Mr Stiffy

c\'mon, be serious . . . . makes the whole neighborhood look like a ghetto


I have to say this thing looks like a shanty town. I can see many folks crying NIMBY, heck not even in my neighborhood.


The worst and stupidest project ever!

Pallets are easily recycled in ... pallets. They cost a lot. Are rented. And preciously reused... And fu***ng heavy!

Much more interesting would be to create clostras in bamboo.

More! it is yearky

Ariel Dahan

Where\'s the glass and insulation? Closing out the elements don\'t seem to be addressed here, and fireproof was obviously not a factor.


I think it is creative but I think they should more with it than just leaving it the way it is. I think it should be painted or stained or some thing to make it look better.


another design student fiasco. I say we have seen enough for a lifetime of them!

Walt Stawicki

Sorry, for once I have to agree with everyone! The only recycling that is needed with pallets, is to move them to a new point of pallets....Bingo...recycled! Ian Colley.


There are a fair number of houses in the slums of Mexico because they can get the pallets for free. I have seen some where the owner/builder took the time to make the pallets look good - sanded them down, stained the wood, built the walls square and plumb.

I have some pallets because we have a small farm, and they are useful for various projects (the latest is a goat milking stand). I find that the wood used is sometimes very good - hardwood from East Asia. This brings up the question of what kind of long-term damage the rest of the world that gets the pallets will do to the originating country\'s forests. We should be looking for good uses for old pallets.


The pallets used on this project look like new, probably have at most one use on them. Pallets quickly get beat up, broken, splintered and the staples holding them together work loose. They\'re not designed to be used for anything other than being horizontal under a fairly evenly distributed load.

Some Mexican neighbors I had a while back built an addition onto their garage and used wood pallets as a foundation under the floor. They used the room as a bedroom.

Some time later in winter, some stuffed animals got up against a heater and set it on fire. The fire dept. couldn\'t get it out until I told them about how the floor was done. They used a chainsaw to cut a chunk out of a wall and down into the floor. Once able to shoot water under the floor they had the fire out very quickly.

Gregg Eshelman
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