Rather than just being places to work, eat, and be entertained, buildings of the future might be used for “systemic” roles: say, generating power, or reusing garbage. Or, as in the designs here–cleaning up the air.
Over the past few months, five teams at University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate Design School have been imagining buildings that act as “urban lungs,” alongside their traditional functions. The brief asked the students to consider a specific site–an unused plot of land near Manhattan’s Holland Tunnel. The area has heavy traffic–much of it idling for long periods–and the air is thick with pollutants.
“As a research studio, we were interested in the possible future of buildings as large scalable environmental systems, a kind of socio-technical environmental infrastructure,” says Shawn Rickenbacker, who oversaw the project.
Using methods from mechanical pressure systems and algae photosynthesis ecosystems, new buildings can scrub carbon dense urban environments.
The question is will this inspire or excuse pollution creating vehicle makers?