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ecoLogicStudio creates world’s first biotech playground "AirBubble" in Warsaw
Poland Architecture News - Jun 17, 2021 - 16:20 7466 views
London-based architecture and innovation firm ecoLogicStudio has created the world’s first biotechnological playground for children to integrate air-purifying micro-algae.
The project, named AirBubble, is located in the centre of Warsaw in Poland and creates a purified microclimate for children to play in, described as "a true bubble of clean air."
ecoLogicStudio, led Claudia Pasquero and Marco Poletto, has designed AirBubble for Otrivin Breathe Clean, a non-medicated Nasal Wash comprising of Natural Ingredients - Isotonic Sea Salt Solution and Natural Glycerin, produced by GSK.
Located within the public green space outside of the Copernicus Science Centre (Centrum Nauki Kopernik), a site which will also host a dedicated exhibition illustrating the design innovation behind the invention of AirBubble.
As the studio explains, the playground integrates the Photo.Synthetica technology for the advanced integration of photosynthesis in the built environment.
"There is untapped value in bringing the bio-intelligence of natural systems into cities, turning buildings into living machines that produce energy, store CO2 and clean the air," said Marco Poletto, co-founder of ecoLogicStudio.
"To achieve this, we need to think about the living world as a part of the current digital revolution: nature becomes part of a new bio-smart infrastructure," Poletto added.
The studio stated that "according to the World Health Organization (WHO), air pollution is the biggest global health threat."
"Warsaw was selected as the first activation for this project as it is one of the most polluted cities in Europe."
AirBubble structure invents a new architectural typology. The playground is made of a cylindrical timber structure wrapped in an ETFE membrane protecting 52 glass algae reactors.
According to the architects, this creates a real urban algae greenhouse. The space is equipped with ropes, foot pumps and bouncy spheres, and can function as both playground and outdoor classroom.
The white bubbling noise of the algae gardening system masks the surrounding urban noise to provide a calming atmosphere in which to play and interact.
The filtering process is enhanced by the architectural morphology of the playground structure. The ETFE membrane – an evolution of the PhotoSynthetica urban curtain system presented in Dublin in 2018 by ecoLogicStudio – controls the microclimate inside AirBubble.
The inverted conical roof membrane further stimulates the air recirculation and natural ventilation, which in turn keeps the play area clean.
The AirBubble monitoring system integrates urban air pollution sensors and is connected to a data processing platform capable of comparing measurements in real time and of highlighting the Air Quality Index for six core pollutants: fine particulate PM2.5 and PM10, ground level Ozone (O3), Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) and Carbon Monoxide (CO). AirBubble is capable of absorbing 97% of the nitrogen and 75% of the particulate matter in the air.
Over the next few months, AirBubble will become a unique urban laboratory, a test bed of applied biotechnology and its application in tackling air pollution and in mitigating its effect on children’s health.
The AirBubble hosts 52 large bioreactors in borosilicate glass which contain 520 litres of living green Chlorella sp algae cultures that can filter a flow of polluted air of 200 litres/minute. While the liquid medium washes particles, the algae actively eat the polluting molecules as well as carbon dioxide to then release fresh clean oxygen.
The purifying process is powered by solar energy and children's playfulness. Kids can interact by jumping on four water foot pumps positioned on the ground while balancing on the bouncy bubbles and the internal rope system.
"This playground needs two sources of power: solar energy and kids’ instinctive drive to explore and to play. These constitute the inexhaustible and renewable fuels of the AirBubble that can be obtained effortlessly. The AirBubble is the trigger of a process that can only grow and multiply its beneficial effects towards future generations. It’s all in our hands – we are responsible for our health and climate," said Claudia Pasquero, co-founder of ecoLogicStudi.
AirBubble exhibition by ecoLogicStudio.
To mark the inauguration of the first ever AirBubble, ecoLogicStudio has designed an interactive multimedia exhibition at the Copernicus Science Centre (Centrum Nauki Kopernik), illustrating the architectural innovation and biotechnology at the heart of the playground system.
The exhibition is composed of three areas: Monitor explores urban air pollution from the unique perspective of children's health. Purify the air reveals the powerful symbiosis of architecture and living microorganisms, and focuses on the filtration and re-metabolization of air pollutants. Breathe engages kids in an interactive demonstration of how to heal their bodies and our cities through the energy of play and breathing clean air.
Cummulative Incident Solar Radiation
Diagram, Air Quality Index PM2.5 Concentration Warsaw 2018
Diagram, Air Quality Index PM2.5 Concentration Poland 2021
Diagram, Air Quality Index PM2.5 Concentration AirBubble 2021
The AirBubble playground at the Copernicus Science Centre (Centrum Nauki Kopernik) is open to the public from 19 May, 2021.
ecoLogicStudio is also presenting a prototype dwelling addressing biotech architecture at the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale. The firm devised a new domestic algae garden based on the collection of data on air pollution.
All images © Maja Wirkus
All drawings © ecoLogicStudio
> via ecoLogicStudio