Since May 19, an intriguing structure has been standing by the Copernicus Science Center in Warsaw - a lightweight cylinder-shaped block that is supposed to combine architecture, science and nature. How is this possible? The AirBubble installation, as it is referred to, is a unique playground, which, as the organizers of the campaign "Let's help children breathe better" argue, is to show how natural and innovative solutions can help clean the air.
The installation was created as part of the promotional campaign of the Otrivin Breathe Clean brand
© Otrivin Breathe Cleanly
The installation was created as part of the promotional campaign of the Otrivin brand Breathe Clean. Despite the commercial aspect of the initiative, it is worth taking a look at the opportunities presented by the world's first biotech playground and the problems it seeks to combat. The authors of AirBubble are designers from ecoLogicStudio, who, together with their partners from the Synthetic Landscape Lab at the University of Innsbruck and the Urban Morphogenesis Lab at London's UCL, were invited by Hashim Sarkis to participate in the 17th International Architecture Biennale. International Architecture Biennale in Venice, where they presented the installation-experiment BIT.BIO.BOT.
Photo credit: Marco Cappelletti © ecoLogicStudio
According to the organizers of the Warsaw experiment, the WHO has identified pollution as the biggest environmental threat to our health, and in 2018 as many as 36 of the 50 most polluted cities in Europe (in terms of PM2.5 concentrations) were in Poland. What's more, if pollution levels were in line with WHO guidelines, the lives of residents of the capital o would be longer by 1.2 years.
Designed by the ecoLogicStudio studio, the AirBubble installation uses microalgae found in the aquatic environment, which absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen during photosynthesis, and capture solar energy up to fifty times more efficiently than land plants.
The playground is located at the Boulevards on the Vistula River
© Otrivin Breathe Clean
The installation consists of fifty-two bioreactors. Each of them contains ten liters of live Chlorella cultures. These algae, under ideal conditions, can actively filter and re-metabolize pollutants and carbon dioxide. They can use carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide molecules as food and increase their biomass. Like all plants, they also release oxygen," explains Dr. Marco Poletto of ecoLogicStudio.
Located on the Boulevards on the Vistula River, the structure is made up of a wooden structure consisting of twenty-six planks arranged around a circular cylinder base, between which the designers placed the aforementioned tubularly connected tanks filled with air-purifying algae. Inside the wooden gazebo, surrounded by a semi-transparent membrane, were placed different-sized "bubbles" for jumping, which act as pumps - when children play, they stimulate the bioreactors at the same time.
Photo credit: Maja Wirkus © ecoLogicStudio
The playground needs two sources of power. One is solar energy, and the other is movement. Children's play stimulates bioreactors and directly contributes to air purification, adds Claudia Pasquero, co-founder of ecoLogicStudio.
AirBubble can thus combine the pleasant with the useful - fun with taking care of the city's air. Let's hope for more such initiatives! The playground is available during the opening hours of exhibitions at the Copernicus Science Center until October 31 this year.