Heineken Didn’t Think Lego-like Beer Bottles Were Cool 50 years ago


I don’t know many adults who feel “too old” to play with LEGOS, but if that sounds like you, check out Heineken’s beer bottle building bricks from 1963.  You can’t get your hands on one now–they only made it to a prototype phase– but it’s worth reading how Alfred “Freddy” Heineken attempted to eradicate homelessness with the invention of these stackable bottles. See below for pictures of real houses built using the Heineken World Bottle “WOBO” blocks.

Reposted from Laughing Squid:

“In 1963, Alfred “Freddy” Heineken visited the Caribbean island of Curaçao and noted two issues: the lack of building materials for the island’s lower class and the excess of bottles littering their beaches. In response, he connected with Dutch architect N. John Habraken and the Heineken WOBO (World Bottle) was invented. The WOBO is a Heineken-branded beer bottle that doubles as a stackable, self-aligning and interlocking brick made for building eco-homes. One thousand WOBO bricks would be needed to make a simple 10 X 10 foot structure. According to Wikipedia, almost every bottle has been destroyed and only two remaining WOBO structures exist “and they are both on the Heineken estate in Noordwijk, near Amsterdam…””


And last but not least, Laughing Squid brought up that Heineken actually did revisit their rectangular roots, but for saving fridge space rather than saving the poor and homeless (and possibly alcoholic): meet the 2008 Heineken cube.


All images from Laughing Squid.