According to WHO, air quality in India’s capital of Delhi is among the worst in the world and is the fifth leading cause of death in India. In a bid to fight this silent killer, Indian practice Studio Symbiosis Architects has taken on a pro-bono project to design Aũra, a proposal for a system of air purifiers to clean the city air for the benefit of all residents in Delhi. Developed using the principles of aerodynamics, the Aũra air purifiers rely on a curved shape and air pressure differentials to intake polluted air and produce cool, clean air.

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rendering of twisted tower in Delhi

Delhi has made headlines year after year for the thick, suffocating smog that has blanketed the city and neighboring areas. With the levels of PM 2.5 spiking to dangerous highs, Studio Symbiosis Architects sought a solution that could be enjoyed by all and not just those able to afford home air purifiers.

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rendering of green and silver tower in a city

At the heart of the architects’ proposal is Aũra, a series of giant, air purifying towers topped with green planters with drip irrigation. Each tower would have two main chambers: one to increase the relative velocity of the air and the other for purifying the polluted air before blowing it out at high speeds and at lower temperatures to create a pressure difference that then pushes warm, polluted air back toward the tower. The architects estimate that an 18-meter-tall Aũra tower could clean 30 million cubic meters of air every day and have the capacity to clean 1,115,000 cubic meters of air per hour.

rendering of green and silver tower in a park

The Aũra towers represent only the first part of the architects’ proposal. The architects’ implementation plan would begin with installing a ring of 60-meter-tall Aũra towers around the city border to stop the flow of external pollution. Smaller, 18-meter-tall Aũra towers with a range of 1 square kilometer would then be installed in select “hot spots” along a grid to ensure clean air within the city. The air purification system would be supplemented with “Aũra velocity” gadgets that can be attached to the tops of cars as well as a network of “Aũra Falcon” drones that would move around the city and monitor air pollution levels. The systems collectively would be called the “Aũra Hive.”

+ Studio Symbiosis Architects

Images via Studio Symbiosis Architects

rendering of cars driving past air purifying tower