Urban Quarries & Material Imaginaries,
An On-going Research Residency at
Atelier Luma, Arles [FR]

Production Processes of Construction Waste in Arles documents the preliminary research and mapping of building rubble in and around Arles. Construction waste is a material flow that occurs on diverse sites and in various mixtures. It is a material flow that is split up between these sites of production and entangled in the different frameworks of economic interest and policy.


This collection of processes gives an insight into the sites, circumstances and parties involved in the production of such mono-material and mixed-matter conglomerates. It provides a basis on which to question the conditions under which these conglomerates are produced and the systems that hold in place the concept of ‘waste’.

Terre Durable in Nîmes, a recycling facility, depo and supplier for crushed building waste

Hills of building waste integrating into the landscape

Part of the preliminary research was the mapping of building waste retrieved from one of the buildings part of the Luma Foundation that is currently under renovation.

The catalogue of quantified materials that are extracted during the renovation allows for the reemployment in custom-made materials for the new building.

Building rubble is a site-specific material that illustrates a local mixture of minerals. Due to Arles rich heritage as part of the Roman Empire, the local rubble contains a remarkable amounts of marble.

“Arles is the result of these early recycling patterns due to the nat- ural resource shortage inherent to Arles’s geographical location. It is a patchwork that has turned invisible on St. Trophine but certainly still recurs in the fragments of construc- tion waste that scarcely leave the historical centre yet present them- selves in pieces of marble among the common crushed concrete, clay tile and gravel on waste recycling sites such as the one of Terre Durable before they are filled back into the ground in road construction works or landscaping works.”

Excerpt from the essay ‘A Local Mixture’ in the publication