At the Astana Expo 2017 in Kazakhstan, ecoLogicStudio showcased BIO.tech HUT, a future city algae farming, where new species of micro-organisms are domesticated.
At the Astana Expo 2017 in Kazakhstan, London-based ecoLogicStudio presented BIO.tech HUT, a pavilion that represents a prototype of future city algae farming, exploring the anthropological relationship between man and the natural environment in the Anthropocene age.
The Lab is a space of science and rationality, where new species of micro-organisms are domesticated and engineered into artificial cultivation environments, growth patterns and material assemblies. In keeping with this ethos, the structure and interior of the BIO.tech HUT express the ideal of symbiosis between human and non-human city dwellers. Designed in collaboration with marine biologists and algae farmers, the photo-bioreactive cladding is developed from a first-of-its-kind revolutionary system that uses high-speed air flow to lift the living medium into lab grade glass tubes.
The air stream creates eddies on the fluid inside the tubes, and generates a stirring effect that catalyzes the desired O2 / CO2 exchange. The fluid then descends by gravity to complete the loop. Multiple glass tubes are coiled around the BIO.tech HUT, and become architectural elements. Structurally, the coils of glass tubes are supported by a series of sectional frames in high-performance honeycombed polycarbonate. The resulting structure is lightweight, fully recyclable and has the unique effect of scattering and enhancing the penetration of solar radiation deep into the hut.
The Living Hut, a nucleus of artistic experience, is divided into two rooms: the Bio.light Room and a further room featuring H.O.R.T.U.S. The first is a dark and calm space in which the only visible light is emitted by bioluminescent bacteria when shaken and oxygenated by the air handling system. The second room, flooded with natural light, hosts H.O.R.T.U.S. (Hydro Organisms Responsive to Urban Stimuli), an installation inhabited by photosynthetic colonies of cyanobacteria, which visitors are encouraged to nurture with carbon dioxide in order to generate oxygen and a growing biomass.
A more open environment encompasses the Garden Hut, a space for production of super-food and bioenergy. Here, the Algae Photo-Bioreactor Room is filled with growing phototropic micro-organisms that use photosynthesis to generate biomass and oxygen, while absorbing carbon dioxide. At the core of the Garden Hut is a harvest area for the processing and transformation of biomass into food and electricity.
Design: ecoLogicStudio – Marco Poletto, Claudia Pasquero