2022/5/26  
Canadian expat John Lamorie builds country villa from newspapers. (2019/04/21)
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    Canadian expat John Lamorie builds country villa from newspapers. (2019/04/21)

    We're all familiar with the story of the three little pigs, which teaches that working hard to build a brick home does pay off. What the story doesn't mention is that when it comes to building a good sturdy home, newspapers can be as good as bricks. John Lamorie, a naturalized Taiwanese citizen from Canada, has lived in his newspaper house in Pingtung for about a decade. The house has gone through typhoons, earthquakes and other natural calamities, all with no problems. Even in retirement, Lamorie hasn't stopped working. He's built house after house on his countryside property, ALL using newspapers. In our Sunday special report, we head down to the eastern county and pay a visit to a wonderland of sustainability.

    School’s about to start. But before it does, Lamorie and his wife take their grandchildren on a quick cruise on his pond. The proud grandfather dug the pond himself with an excavator. He also planted all the greenery in the garden.

    Lamorie loves to goof off in front of a camera, but he’s serious with the details when it comes to his projects. He has stocked his backyard pond with over 10 species of fish. Some eat plankton. Some eat other fish. Some remove algae and carrion from the pond, and together they form a small sustainable ecosystem.

    John Lamorie
    Pingtung resident
    Trying to think, if I was a fish, what would I like? And wow, in Taiwan it’s really hot in the summer. I’d like it to be cool in one part. So I made the area that I thought the sun would get to the most, I made the deepest, so the fish could be there.

    John Lamorie
    Pingtung resident
    What we use, we use newspapers. It’s about 8 kilograms.

    The pond is a marvel of engineering. But our team is more intrigued by these ordinary-looking buildings. They look about the same, and they all hold the same secret in their walls.

    He soaks the 8 kilograms of newspaper in a tub full of water for two days. After that, he combines the wet newspapers with cement in a homemade mixer.

    John Lamorie
    Pingtung resident
    The ratio is 1 to 1 for cement and newspapers, but for water it’s 15. A lot of it is just trial and error. They say you learn a lot from your mistakes. Well, I’m very wise because I’ve made so many mistakes.

    Lamorie pours the cement mix into molds to make bricks. One kilogram of newspapers can make six paper bricks measuring 30 by 10 by 10 centimeters. All of Lamorie’s houses were built with these bricks.

    John Lamorie
    Pingtung resident
    Some people complain that I still add cement. Well, that’s a building reality. I mean, in Taiwan with all the earthquakes and typhoons do you want to live in a mud house? Not me.

    Wu Lien-chun grew up in Pingtung and has been married to Lamorie for more than 10 years. After retiring, they purchased this plot of land in Ligang Township. After much planning and hard work, they turned the wilderness into the eco-friendly home of their dreams.

    Wu Lien-chun
    Lamorie’s wife
    He is truly very handy and we seldom buy things. Our dishes and all our things were made by him. Even the pizza oven was made by him. The timber was all chopped by him.

    John Lamorie
    Pingtung resident
    There is no way I could do this. I wanted to buy one, but I couldn’t buy one in Taiwan. So I made it. This is recycled from a tow truck, this from a garbage truck. The pump is from a garbage truck.

    Not only does Lamorie make much of what he owns, he goes out of his way to use recycled materials. His life philosophy has always been to treasure what life gives him. In 2009, he put it into practice as he began working on newspaper houses.

    John Lamorie
    Pingtung resident
    All the windows and doors and that are recycled cypress wood. But normally the windows and doors, especially from Japanese Era, are sliding doors, sliding windows. But, I machined and put stainless [steel] so that you could then hang them like this. We call them awning-hung. The second one was this. The tiles are from the house my wife was born in. So I just tried to make everything sort of connected and make it sort of last longer. People say, well, you do recycle because it’s cheaper. Actually it isn’t, if you look at the amount of time it takes to clean everything and then change it to make it so it works better, it probably would have been cheaper to just go and buy new ones.

    Lamorie built this other newspaper building to celebrate the 100th birthday of the R.O.C. Of all his units, it’s got the greatest amount of recycled materials. The ceiling trusses are made from repurposed blackboards. The wooden tables are made from discarded materials from a military base. The black beams on the bar were created from the roof of a pigsty.

    This unit called Star Ship was finished in 2015. It has a more industrial aesthetic. The repurposed scaffolding creates a natural air-conditioning system. It helps cut down on power use during Pingtung’s sweltering summers.

    Night falls, and Lamorie roughhouses with his squealing grandchildren in the garden. In the dark, the windows of the newspaper buildings light up like a kaleidoscope.

    John Lamorie
    Pingtung resident
    A lot of things can [be recycled] but for me that’s sort of putting the horse behind the cart. I think what we need to look at is what we’re using so we don’t have so much leftover stuff that we have to figure out how to recycle. I think we have to live smarter and use our resources a lot better. Be more careful.
    中文 Chinese  
    三隻小豬有個弟弟

    大家都聽過童話三隻小豬的故事,知道蓋房子一定要堅固安全,才能抵擋得住地震、颱風這類的天災。不過,如果有人不但在報紙蓋的屋子裡、住了十年,期間還挺過莫拉克、山竹等強颱暴雨,甚至經歷過規模6.4的地震,房子依舊安然無恙。這樣的故事,您相信嗎?帶您來認識羅約翰。

    趕在兩個小外孫要上學前,農莊的主人羅約翰帶著他的妻子吳連春,一家人來一場池畔巡禮,池塘是羅約翰開怪手挖出來的,一草一木也是他親手栽種。

    儘管鏡頭前的羅約翰很愛搞笑,但其實他做事的原則可是一板一眼,深思熟慮,絲毫不能馬虎。光是打造這個生態池,他就養了十幾種魚類,有的吃浮游生物,有的弱肉強食,有的專門 清除藻類 腐屍,形成一個小型的食物鏈。

    [[羅約翰 紙磚屋達人]]
    “試著想想,如果我是一條魚,我喜歡什麼,在台灣,夏天真的很熱,我希望有個地方很涼爽,所以我把太陽最能穿過的區域,挖得更深,讓魚可以躲在那裡”

    不過在這個農莊裡,最吸引我們目光的,還是這一棟棟看似跟一般建築沒太大差別的紙磚屋,它們真的是傳說中用報紙蓋的嗎。

    [[羅約翰 紙磚屋達人]]
    "我們用什麼呢,我們用報紙,差不多八公斤”

    八公斤的報紙,要放進桶內加水浸泡兩天,然後才能與水泥一起放進這個羅約翰自製的攪拌器裡。

    [[羅約翰 紙磚屋達人]]
    “比例是1:1,水泥跟報紙,但要加入15倍的水,這是從嘗試跟錯誤中學習到的,(是 從你的經驗中學) ,人家說從錯誤中學得很多,所以我很聰明,因為我出錯過很多次”

    羅約翰將攪拌完成後泥漿,放進模板裡,就能製造出紙磚。一公斤的報紙,可以製造六個寬10公分,高10公分,長約30公分的紙磚,這是羅約翰蓋房子的基礎。

    [[羅約翰 紙磚屋達人]]
    “有人會抱怨說,這還是用到了水泥,但這也是建築的真實面,畢竟在台灣有那麼多地震跟颱風,我可不想住在純粹的泥造屋裡”

    從小在屏東長大的吳連春,十幾年前跟羅約翰結婚,退休後在里港鄉買下這塊土地,從雜草蔓生的荒野,一步步整理規劃,開展他們的環保樂活夢。

    [[吳連春 羅約翰妻子]]
    “他手很巧,我們家很少去買東西,我們家的餐盤,所有東西都是他做的,像我們的窯烤爐是他自己做的,木材是他自己砍的”

    [[羅約翰 紙磚屋達人]]
    “我沒辦法砍斷這些木頭,(再問一次 你自己做的),是,我想要買一台,但是在台灣根本買不到,所以我自己做,這是從拖車回收下來的,這是從垃圾車回收的,幫浦也是從垃圾車回收的”

    羅約翰不但凡事自己動手做,就連使用的材料也都是回收來的,惜物愛物的理念,也運用到他從2009年開始所蓋的九棟紙磚屋裡。

    [[羅約翰 紙磚屋達人]]
    “所有的門窗都是檜木回收,但通常從日式建築的門窗,都是滑軌式的,所以我加上了不鏽鋼曲型鉸鏈,所以你可這樣推開,稱為懸窗。我蓋的第二棟是這間,屋瓦是從我妻子出生的老家拿來,我就是嘗試著,讓屋子每個部分都有關聯,可以延續得更長久,人家說,你做回收是因為它便宜,事實上並不然,如果因為這些東西老舊需要清理,而讓它變得更好用些,可能花費並不會比買新的便宜”

    而這間民國100年建造的紙磚屋,是使用最多回收物資的房子,屋頂的桁架,是回收學校淘汰的黑板,木桌材料來自軍營廢棄物,櫃台的黑色木條是豬舍改建丟棄的屋頂。

    這間在2015年完成的Star Ship,融合了工業風。羅約翰利用回收的建築鷹架,架設了天然的空調,即使在炎熱的夏季,也能減少冷氣的使用。

    傍晚,外孫們放學回到莊園,羅約翰照例陪著他們瘋狂地玩,夜空下鑲嵌著玻璃瓶的紙磚屋,只要一兩盞燈光陪襯,就能透出七彩的光芒。

    [[羅約翰 紙磚屋達人]]
    “很多東西都可以回收,但我認為這其實本末倒置,我們應該關注的是我們所使用的東西,我們沒有剩下很多資材,以至於必須弄清楚如何回收,我們應該聰明地生活,更好地運用我們的資源,要更謹慎一點”
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