No, it is not a question of a fantasy creation by Willy Wonka, but of a real construction whose work will begin this year. Located in Pedernales, in the coastal province of Manabi in Ecuador, the Cacao Eco Village has a small particularity: It will be partially built thanks to cocoa waste from chocolate production and reused via 3D printing. Behind this project is the architecture studio of Italian Valentino Gareri, who answered the call of Ecuadorian chocolate producer Muze Cacao and the non-profit organization Avanti. The village is announced as the first of a global network of sustainable and smart villages, which will also be an innovation center for the circular economy in the cocoa industry. Located where cocoa farmers and their families live and work, it will also be a carbon-neutral tourist destination, the studio assures.
As for the parts that are not constructed from the precious waste, they will be made from local and natural materials. In terms of architecture, the facades of the buildings are inspired by the wide range of multicolored Ecuadorian houses and the colorful fruits of the cacao trees.
Waste is not only transformed into a resource, but into architecture. In the not-so-distant future, we will be able to design buildings entirely made of natural materials and recycle them at the end of their life to create new ones, or to return them to nature,” the architect says.