World’s First Urban Algae Canopy Produces the Oxygen Equivalent of Four Hectares of Woodland Every Day

by , 04/28/15
filed under: Architecture, World Expo

Urban Algae Canopy by ecoLogic Studio at Expo Milano 2015, custom designed ETFE cladding system, reactive bio-digital architecture by ecoLogic Studio, special CNC welding technology, organic canopy for Future Food District project by Carlo Ratti Associati, Bio-digital architecture at Expo Milano 2015, ecoLogic Studio combine technology and biology, responsive algae canopy by ecoLogic Studio, responsive bio-digital canopy at Expo Milano 2015,

Forming part of the Future Food District project curated by Carlo Ratti Associati, the Urban Algae Canopy marks the culmination of six years worth of research. A custom designed ETFE cladding system, which consists of three layers and was designed with the help of Taiyo Europe, enhances the already exceptional properties of the microalgae organisms. Special CNC welding technology, on the other hand, enabled ecoLogicStudio to alter the canopy’s morphology and control the dynamic behavior of the water that courses through the structure to act as a medium for the living organisms.

Related: Stunning Chinese Pavilion for Milan Expo 2015 Resembles Billowing Wheat Fields

This intersection between technology and biology means that when the sun shines more intensively, the algae would photosynthesise and grow, which in turn reduces the transparency of the canopy and provides more shade. With mico-algae as the foundation of the canopy, it is inherently responsive, which means visitors will be able to influence the building’s behavior in real-time. At any given time, the transparency, color and shading potential of the canopy will be the product of the interrelationships between climate, micro-algae, visitors and digital control systems.

“It is now time to overcome the segregation between technology and nature typical of the mechanical age, to embrace a systemic understanding of architecture,” concludes Claudia Pasquero of ecoLogicStudio. “In this prototype the boundaries between the material, spatial and technological dimensions have been carefully articulated to achieve efficiency, resilience and beauty.”

+ ecoLogic Studio

+ Inhabitat Milan Expo 2015 Coverage

Images via ecoLogic Studio

Related Posts


or your inhabitat account below


  1. Uldis Porikis August 18, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    I want t obuild one.

  2. gyulabodonyi August 11, 2015 at 8:41 am

    You can’t keep algae in foil. It sticks to the surface, get sick and die. (Unless you replace the foil monthly) Not very sustainable :(

  3. G. Allen Bowman April 28, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    Complete Bullshit. thats structure cannot produce 330 pounds of biomass a day. who wrote this?

  4. BrettLeighton March 18, 2015 at 6:26 am

    Thanks , I’ve recently been searching for info approximately this subject for a while and yours is the best I’ve found out till now. But, what concerning the conclusion? Are you positive concerning the supply?

  5. Nathan Prince February 26, 2015 at 3:32 am

    it still doesn\\\’t say a thing about how it works – laymen\\\’s terms! does it breathe thru glass, or plastic? does it need filtered water? doesit need us to touch it every day? when does it die – does it die and need to be regenerated? urgh. I feel like I clicked on nothing and shared nothing.

  6. Michael Brassell October 22, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    Algae windows on mars?

  7. Kristian de Marco October 19, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    simply amazing!! more info please!

  8. Mary Wilson June 18, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    This sounds like it would be excellent on the space station, a long-range trip (say to Mars), or even on Mars as part of a habitat…

  9. Eletruk June 11, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    How much CO2 can it absorb?
    Speaking of algae, whatever happened to those algae to fuel plans so many people were promising?

  10. Moreyn Kamenir April 19, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    I would like to share my space with one of these.

  11. Akara Partners April 17, 2014 at 6:33 pm


  • Read Inhabitat

  • Search Categories

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

  • Browse by Keyword

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
Federated Media Publishing - Home