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Images courtesy of John Habraken and The Heineken Company

World Bottles — Amsterdam, the Netherlands

by Anne Miltenburg

In 1957 on the Caribbean island of Curaçao, brewery executive Alfred Henry ‘Freddy’ Heineken observed how imported beer bottles were going to waste. He also noted the absence of affordable construction materials, and put two and two together. Upon his return to the Netherlands, he asked architect John Habraken to design a beer bottle that would double as a translucent, modular brick. Sixty thousand Heineken World Bottles (Wobos) were produced, and Habraken tested the concept by building a shed in Freddy Heineken’s backyard. In the end, however, the project proved incompatible with the brewery’s marketing culture and was not implemented.

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