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Thursday24 July 2014

picture of the day

Eco-pods for stalled construction sites?

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US practice Howeler & Yoon has proposed plans to fill a stalled construction block with a series of eco-pods capable of being moved by robotic arms in its home town of Boston.

A number of sites across the city have been put on hold because of the recession and city paper the Boston Globe asked architects to come up with new projects that would use the stalled half-built structures.

Howeler & Yoon’s idea is to fill the Filene development, a 32-storey mixed-used scheme in downtown Boston, with eco pods full of biofuel producing algae.

Micro-algae, which can be grown vertically and on non-arable land, is a biofuel crop and reduces carbon dioxide emissions.


Credit: Höweler & Yoon Architecture and Squared Design

The robotic arms, powered by the algae, will be used to move the pods to different parts of the building that would be favourable for their growth.

The eco-pods can also be used as research incubators allowing scientists to test algae species and methods of fuel extraction.



Credit: Höweler & Yoon Architecture and Squared Design

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Readers' comments (9)

  • Giant robotic arms powered by algae. How? Tiny wee hamster wheels? These architects must be powered by mushrooms.

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  • Paper Architecture!

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  • RECESSION = NO MONEY. HOW MUCH WILL THIS COST?

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  • Magnificent and beautiful. Big algae vase for Boston city and yet power producing. Technology for it is already out there.

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  • Another example highlighting the lack of financial understanding prevalent in Architecture.

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  • Strangely emough, I would really like this if they could grow it from a petri dish.

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  • @Noah oil is a source of energy, algae is a source of oil...it is not rocket science algae produces biodiesel and animal feedstock as a byproduct without competing with the food supply @David innovation in sustainable sources of energy, as well as cleaner air/health, is exactly the kind of investment needed now - reduces risk and stimulates further growth

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  • Those pods and algae-powered robotic arms will definitely cost less than finishing the building!

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  • Davi and others think it makes sense to spend resources on a cancelled city centre building site, installing a collection of abandoned washing machines full of smelly, dripping algae (which needs sunlight and water and nutrients, so why is it in boxes? On north elevations? 20 storeys in the air?) PLUS an oil refinery, PLUS some cool giant transformer robot arms - temporarily - until the developer wants their site back. You're right. It's not rocket science. It's not even good science fiction. It makes me sad that some architects still lap up this kind of archigram drivel. Admit it boys - you just think the big arms are cool.

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