Urban

The Hardware Store Of The 21st Century Is Here

The circular economy aims to close the loop in any material cycle. But how to get started? Check out Buurman, the circular hardware store that gives materials a second chance.

Situated in Rotterdam’s Keilewerf, a hub of makers, artists and entrepreneurs, Buurman is the place to go for professionals and do-it-yourself lovers in need of building supplies. Here you can find anything — from insulation materials, multiplex boards to electric cables — but nothing at Buurman is new! Every piece of wood or pipe has been used before.

Buurman gets most of their materials delivered from (de)construction sites in Rotterdam, but also from exhibitions and festivals. The majority of them taking place for a short period of time, these events leave behind quite some materials that are still in good condition. You might not instantly find what you are looking for, due to the changing stock in the store, but the Buurman team will help you get creative with whatever is in stock. Just like shopping at your favorite second-hand clothing shop, Buurman is worth a visit every once in a while to find a unique piece.

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Nothing at Buurman is new! Every piece of wood or pipe has been used before

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The team behind Buurman founded the store in 2015 to help shrink the huge amount of material waste that is being produced in the Netherlands. “People are getting excited about building furniture themselves,” says co-founder Laura Rosen Jacobsen. Making a piece of furniture yourself from circular materials is not only cheaper and more sustainable than buying new, it’s also fun.

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To help people getting started with circular DIYs, Buurman is hosting various workshops. For instance, on how to make your own Rietveld chair. You can also rent out workspaces and tools to realize bigger projects that won’t fit in your apartment. We hope to see more stores like this popping up in cities soon to get the circular economy rolling.

The International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam 2018 explores the transformations cities need to make to reach global sustainability goals. In a dedicated article series, Pop-Up City highlights projects and initiatives from the Netherlands that are setting an example for urban regions around the world.

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