Engineering art in support of The Cup Fund

January 2020
Can you guess how many disposable coffee cups are used in the UK every minute? It’s an astonishing 5,555! And only 222 of them are currently recycled. The rest end up in landfill.

Thanks to environmental charity Hubbub, which set up The Cup Fund to finance cup recycling plants, London will gain five new facilities. The aim is to recycle 4 million cups a year. To promote the launch of this scheme, the designers at Mule Studio have created an installation using one minute’s worth of cups — demonstrating just how huge this number is. Welcome to Cup Cube, with engineering support from Whitby Wood.

Cup Cube installation, London

Cup Cube consists of 300 aluminium tubes mounted on a plywood base, with 5,555 disposable cups threaded onto the tubes, making a forest of columns with a walkway through the middle. All are white, except for the 222 currently destined for recycling. We collaborated with mule to generate the sizing of the primary elements and assess overall stability and structural behaviour, and we used our experience with temporary structures to inform the fabrication and installation approach. You can see the results on the South Bank in London, outside Tate Modern, where Cup Cube will remain for several weeks from 20 January before moving to Waterloo Station.

Cup Cube installation, London

We love art installations, not least because we enjoy the creative design process of working with artists/designers. And they provide opportunities for us to work with new materials and technologies. This installation is particularly special as it is so closely aligned to a positive cause. All 5,555 cups per minute could and should be recycled. Disposable cups require specialised facilities because of their internal plastic waterproof lining, and The Cup Fund’s initiatives deserve the support of all of us.


photos : Whitby Wood

  news index
Also in the news

Schematic design ready for first of six buildings for TRIL

September 2020
The first of six commercial buildings at Intelion Park in Navi Mumbai, India
Preston Barracks, Brighton

New video of Preston Barracks

September 2020
Senior engineer Oliver Coffey takes us on a tour of the site in Brighton

Great news : promotions!

August 2020
Congratulations to sixteen brilliant minds and lovely people!
NCE Awards Finalist 2020

NCE Awards 2020 : finalist

August 2020
Whitby Wood shortlisted in the 2020 NCE Companies of the Year awards

Piling to start at Hoxton site

July 2020
Work begins on new seven-storey mixed use project in London's East End
Godrej City Panvel phase 5

Doing more with less for high rise

July 2020
Impressive materials savings on seven-tower residential project
Management of distributed assets

Management of distributed assets : rapid inspection and tracking

July 2020
The assessment of 478 structures in 11 weeks, in 38 locations

The hut the scouts will build

JUne 2020
A terrific scout hut project with architect Pattern — for the 2nd/9th scout group in Ruislip, west London
Greenwich Peninsula Design District

Bird’s eye view : Greenwich peninsula Design District

JUne 2020
Drone operators Digital Wasp have released a terrific aerial video

Seb and Chris cycle to MIPIM — virtually

May 2020
They made it! All the way from London to Cannes on static bikes ... for Coram
The Wiltern, Perivale, London

The Wiltern gets planning approval

May 2020
Amro announces the granting of planning approval for residential project in Ealing
Emma Francois

Supporting RedR — volunteering

May 2020
Emma Francois' latest volunteer work with disaster relief charity RedR

Five staircases in the City of London

May 2020
Working with Littlehampton Welding on part of a commercial fit-out in the City of London.

Engineer scales Mt Bintumani for CODEP without leaving home

May 2020
Mike Gatfield scales a mountain of stairs for Sierra Leone charity
Fairfield Homes, Croydon

Planning approval granted for Fairfield Homes project

May 2020
Brick By Brick's new residential project for Croydon moves to the next stage