Dezeen Magazine

Museum of Space Available exterior facade

Museum of Space Available opens in Bali to explore circular design

Design studio Space Available has worked with Indonesian architects Sidarta and Sandjaja to turn a Bali building into an institution dedicated to circular design, with a facade made of 200,000 recycled plastic bottles.

Located in the coastal town of Canggu, the Museum of Space Available (MoSA) houses a gallery, recycling station and "upcycling bar" where people can bring in old clothing items to give them a new life.

The design studio intends for the space to showcase both its own work and contributions from international artists, designers and scientists, all centred on innovations in plastic recycling, biomaterials and circular living that form an archive of "future possibilities".

Entry to the Museum of Space Available in Bali
The blue panels of the Museum of Space Available facade are made from 200,000 recycled plastic bottles

Space Available founder Daniel Mitchell told Dezeen that the studio wanted to create a museum rather than a more traditional shop or gallery so that there could be greater focus on storytelling.

"A museum setting allows us to give context to the history of the material and how it has arrived in today's situation," said Mitchell.

"Also all our objects and products are made by hand with no two objects the same due to the artisan nature of how we make things," he continued. "We need the space to showcase this process and highlight craft culture in a setting that gives it value."

Photo of palm leaves poking through the building facade
The inclusion of plants adds a tropical feel

Space Available worked with architecture studio  Sidarta and Sandjaja to renovate a previously derelict two-storey building for the project, aiming to give it a "striking" facade that would both represent their vision for the centre and grab the attention of passers-by.

In collaboration with Indonesian circular firm Robries, they made the facade and signage — along with a few items inside the gallery — from 200,000 waste plastic bottles, which Mitchell describes as being in "endless supply" in Indonesia and a threat to its waterways.

The plastic was shredded, sprinkled into a sheet mould and heated to make it into the blue-hued panels that feature on the outside of the building, just above newly added sliding doors and polished concrete fascia.

Recycled plastic objects sit in a white gallery
Inside the space has been stripped back and walls painted white

Sidarta and Sandjaja designed the facade to look like a continuation of the roof line. A narrow end-to-end cutout and oversized lettering serve to break up the mass, while plants poking through the cutout are meant to add a tropical feel.

Inside, the studio focused on stripping the building back to its core concrete structure and removing existing partitions to create an open gallery space, with white walls and an exposed concrete ceiling.

"Even though the museum is small, we'd like to visualise it just like a modern museum in Europe, with spacious exhibition halls for flexible use," architect Patisandhika Sidarta told Dezeen.

"Removing all existing partitions, adding large glazing and a white backdrop helped create spaciousness to the open-plan layout on both levels."

Recycled plastic sculptural object sits in a concrete-walled gallery
Space Available wants the centre to serve as an archive of "future possibilities"

As well as a gallery and retail and repair space, MoSA will act as a learning facility that hosts workshops for the benefit of the local community. Space Available also intends for the museum to have a digital side, with rooms in the metaverse and a series of NFTs launching soon.

Mitchell has been based in Bali for eight years and founded Space Available in 2020. The studio produces entirely recycled and circular products and concepts, such as its chair patterned with hypnotic blue spirals, also made with waste from the island.

"Bali is rich in craft culture – and this ancient craft approach we not only want to preserve but take into the future with new materials that challenge some of today's ecological issues," said Mitchell.

The photography is by Tommaso Riva.

More images