People's Pavilion: a 100% circular building in Eindhoven

In 2017 DDW and Design City Eindhoven launched the first edition of the World Design Event (WDE), which provides a platform for future makers from all over the world. At the heart of the Dutch Design Week is its People’s Pavilion, which had been designed by bureau SLA & Overtreders W.

The pavilion is a design statement of the new circular economy, a 100% circular building where no building materials are lost in construction.

The designers of the bureau SLA and Overtreders W have accomplished this with a radical new approach: all of the materials needed to make the 250-m2-building were borrowed - not only materials from traditional suppliers and producers, but also from Eindhoven residents themselves. To be clear, 100% of the materials were borrowed: concrete and wooden beams, lighting, facade elements, glass roof, recycled plastic cladding, even the Pavilion’s glass roof, all are returned completely unharmed—with one special exception—to the owners following the DDW. The exception? The striking colored tiles that make up the Pavilion’s upper facade, made from plastic household waste materials collected by Eindhoven residents, which were distributed among those very residents at the end of DDW.

100% borrowed means a construction site without screws, glue, drills or saws. This, in turn, leads to a new design language: the People’s Pavilion reveals a new future for sustainable building: a powerful design with new collaborations and intelligent construction methods.

Design Outline


The base for the People’s Pavilion is a construction of 12 concrete foundation piles and 19 wooden frames, designed in collaboration with Arup. The frames consist of unplaned wooden beams of standard dimensions, held together with steel straps. Concrete piles and frames are connected with 350 tensioning straps, creating an eight meter high primary structure for the 250-m2-building. The glass roof is made using a system that is commonly employed in the greenhouse industry. The Pavilion’s upper facade consists of colored plastic tiles, made of recycled plastic household waste, collected largely by Eindhoven inhabitants. The glass facade on the ground floor is a leftover from a refurbishment of’s headquarters and will be used for a new office space after the DDW. The podium consists of borrowed concrete slabs. The lighting, heating, bar and other interior elements of the People’s Pavilion are also borrowed.


Address: Ketelhuisplein Eindhoven

Design: bureau SLA & OvertredersW, Amsterdam

Client: Dutch Design Foundation, Eindhoven

Structural engineering: Arup, Amsterdam

Urban mining advice: New Horizon

Main builders: Ham & Sybesma, Amsterdam

3D images: Vingtsix 3D Visualisation Studio

Photography: Jeroen van der Wielen, Filip Dujardin