Inspiration strikes in the most unusual ways. Édouard T. Arsenault began to build these incredible bottle houses in 1980. He was 66 at the time and had received a postcard from his daughter of a glass bottle castle in British Columbia. Inspired to create his own bottle house, Édouard began collecting glass bottles from his community in Cap-Egmont, Prince Edward Island, Canada.
The first glass house that Édouard built was a six gabled house. This house has three main sections and measures 20 ft x 14 ft. This house has incredible patterns resulting from the careful selection of bottle colours and sizes. To create the look, Mr. Arsenault cemented between 300-400 bottles per row. This glass bottle house was built over a six month period. Approximately 12,000 bottles and 85 bags of cement were used.
The next glass bottle building that Édouard built was a bottle tavern in 1982. This building is in the shape of a hexagon and uses 8,000 glass bottles. On the bar is a special selection of glass bottles from Édouard’s personal collection. The bottles he collected came mostly from a local restaurant, community dance halls, friends, relatives and neighbours. Whenever Édouard came across a special bottle, he preferred to keep it, rather than use it in his buildings.
The third bottle building is a chapel. This is an amazing space complete with bottle pews and an altar. Mr. Arsenault began work on this bottle chapel in 1983. Sadly he passed away before it was complete. He had intended to make the steeples higher. Regardless, this chapel is a work of art. At sunset, the glass bottles behind the altar are illuminated and a symphony of colours streams in.
Mr. Arsenault was also an avid gardener. In his retirement he designed the flower beds and placed the stonework. He also planted the gorgeous trees on the property.
Together the 3 fantasy-like bottle buildings upcycle over 30,000 glass bottles. They have been included in ‘Ripley’s Believe It or Not’ and ‘1000 Places to See Before You die’. Be sure to check them out if you are ever in Prince Edward Island.