Wednesday, 06 Jan, 2010 Environment

Physalia - Floating Self-sufficient Garden Navigating European Rivers


According to calculations made by the UN, if the population will continue increasing at current rate, Earth could have about 9.2 billion people by 2050. This could lead to food and fresh water crisis. But before we reach 2050, it is would be worth mentioning that today about 3,000 people die each day because they don't have access to drinking water. This is the reason why several designers are searching for ways to solve the problem.

One of the solutions that could somewhat help solve the problem linked with lack of fresh water was offered by designers from Vincent Callebaut Architects. They came up with the idea of designing a floating garden called Physalia, being inspired by pneumatophorous called the "Physalia physalis," ("water bubble"). The amphibious garden is completely self-sufficient and according to the designers, it will navigate several European rivers, including Danube, Volga, Rhine, Guadalquivir, Euphrates and Tiger.

The structure is meant to collect more energy than it consumes. It includes a double pneumatic membrane that has smooth photovoltaic solar cells. Underneath the casing, Physalia has hydro-turbines that turn the energy of the fluvial stream into hydroelectricity. The floating garden has its surface made of aluminum-covered steel, which is also covered with TiO2 that responds to ultraviolet rays to purify water.

Physalia can also soak up the chemicals along with carbonated waste eliminated by boats and industrial plants. The main entrance into the structure is the Water Garden. There is also an Earth Garden that is designed for international scientists who study the aquatic ecosystem traversed by Physalia. The floating garden has two more spaces, called Fire Garden and Air Garden. The former is a small and shielding underwater lounge, while the latter represents a space of oxygen and light that extends under a pneumatophorous lens. More images and additional information can be found here.

Posted by greendan80

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