Here's another look at what to expect at the Milan Expo in 2015. As part of the Expo's Future Food District project, the Urban Algae Canopy shows the great potential of micro algae organisms for integrative greener, cleaner bio-digital architecture. London-based ecoLogicStudio designed the pavilion in collaboration with local architect Cesare Griffa.
Full-scale prototypes of the pavilion are currently being previewed at the INTERNI ‘Feeding New Ideas for the City’ exhibition at Cortile d’Onore, University of Milan, Festa del Perdono happening until April 18.
Once it's fully built, the canopy will be able to produce oxygen equivalent to 4 hectares of woodland and up to 150kg of biomass per day -- 60% of which are natural vegetal proteins.
Dig into the project details right below:
"The Urban Algae Canopy, based on ecoLogicStudio’s six years long research on building integrated bio-digital systems, is presented here with a 1:1 scale prototype of the world’s first bio-digital canopy integrating micro-algal cultures and real time digital cultivation protocols on a unique architectural system. The exceptional properties of microalgae organisms are enhanced by their cultivation within a custom designed 3 layers ETFE cladding system."
"Such system was developed through a tight collaboration between ecoLogicStudio and Taiyo Europe and represents a radically new interpretation of the possibilities of the traditional ETFE cladding system. A special CNC welding technology is at the core of it and enables ecoLogicStudio to design and control the morphology of the cushions under stress as well as the fluid dynamic behaviour of the water medium as it travels through it.
The flows of energy, water and CO2 are therefore regulated to respond and adjust to weather patterns and visitors' movements. As the sun shines more intensively algae would photosynthesise and grow thus reducing the transparency of the canopy and increasing its shading potential."
"Since this process is driven by the biology of mico-algae is inherently responsive and adaptive, visitors will benefit from this natural shading property while being able to influence it in real-time. Their presence will trigger electro valves to alter the speed of algal flow through the canopy provoking an emergent differentiation across the space.
In any moment in time the actual transparency, colour and shading potential of the canopy will be the product of this complex set of relationships among climate, micro-algae, visitors and digital control systems."
A project by ecoLogicStudio - Marco Poletto and Claudia Pasquero (London, UK) part of the H.O.R.T.U.S. series.
Special edition for Expo 2015 developed with Carlo Ratti Associati (Turin, Italy)
responsive system consultant: Alt N – Nick Puckett
ETFE design support and manufacturing: Taiyo Europe GmbH
wood structure design support: The Ne[s]t – Paolo Scoglio
wood structure manufacturing: Sullalbero srl
evolution biologist: Catherine Legrand
microbiologist: Mario Tredici
Photos courtesy of ecoLogicStudio
Click the thumbnails below to see more photos.