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Air quality is a serious issue that needs to be addressed as more and more people move to large cities. At the same time, we are losing the forests that help us combat air pollution, which means that pollution promises to be a major health threat in coming decades. The Chlorella Pavilion addresses that need, taking inspiration from the air purifying process that occurs in nature.

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The design emphasizes the symbiotic relationship between animal and plants. Miklosi conceived a system of tubes that run throughout the interior and exterior of the structure, filled with algae soaking up energy from the sun and “exhaling” oxygen into the space by way of a central fountain. The fountain is surrounded by seating so that people can relax enjoy the fresh air. Visitors coming to this futuristic oxygen bar will feed the algae by converting oxygen into CO2 with their breath, creating a continuous cycle.

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The entire system is run by solar panels, which provide power for artificial lighting that supports photosynthesis. Photobioreactors create a network of transparent plastic tubes, each of which is filled with 5 cubic meters of algae. The algae sucks in dirty air, cleans it, and sends out purified air. Surrounding this central algae “fountain” are a series of chairs in a circle, facing the center.

Related: Biodesign Competition winners announced – algae takes center stage

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Called a “temple of relaxation,” the Chlorella Pavilion could be placed just about anywhere, including metropolitan areas where bustling city dwellers could use a natural boost of oxygen-driven energy – or just some fresh air. The innovative structure is built with molded beech wood and an isolating teflon film on the exterior to help create a space for relaxation and recovery.

The project was inspired by Russia’s Controlled ecological life support system, in which a self-supporting life system was created using algae to provide oxygen.  Miklosi’s design recently won Inhabitat’s Biodesign Competition.

+Chlorella Oxygen Pavilion