studio symbiosis tackles air pollution in india with proposed 'aura' cleaning tower

studio symbiosis tackles air pollution in india with proposed 'aura' cleaning tower

in a bid to clean up the air of delhi, studio symbiosis has designed a series of solutions under the title ‘aura’. comprising of four different elements, the project proposes a comprehensive strategy to tackle and rectify the imminent threat of pollution, which is denying clean breathable air to the residents of delhi national capital region (NCR).


as of november 2019, residents of delhi are breathing about 25 times more toxic air than the permissible limit according to WHO (world health organization) guidelines. the national capital has a blanket of thick smog all over the city and its neighbouring areas are filled with high levels of PM 2.5 (a micro pollutant that enters the bloodstream and causes clots, blocking the blood flow and leading to heart attacks and other diseases). the AQI level has reached 1350 and the PM 2.5 level has reached 999. in short, air pollution in the indian capital is at dangerous levels.

aura city
all images courtesy of studio symbiosis architects



the first part of the project is the aura cleaning tower. developed using principles of aerodynamics, the twisting elliptical towers are designed as 60 m and 18 m high respectively. they can intake polluted air from 360 degrees and have two main chambers. one to increase the relative velocity of the air and the other cleans the massive intake of air before expelling it. the cleaning tower designed at 18 m height is able to clean 30 million cubic meter of air every day. capacity to clean 1,115,000 m3 per hour.

aura hotspot and aura falcon



the secondary system of ‘aura hotspots’ have been designed to be grafted within the city. these towers are designed as 18 meters high and they create a grid that ensures clean air in the city. the hotspots are effective, even when wind speeds drop and the pollution level increases. these towers have a smaller range of 1 sq km and are highly effective in cleaning the city during days with low wind speeds and higher pollution levels. hotspots are proposed for each neighborhood, so residents can enjoy close proximity to clean air in the evenings or at the weekend.

aura hotspot



the third system looks at objects in motion, moving through the city of delhi. so as not to play with nature and generate artificial wind, a simple attachment on top of cars has been designed. this element looks at the aerodynamics of a car and the streamlines as achieved during computational fluid analysis, are being pushed through these ‘aura velocity’. the more these cars move in the city, the more they clean the city. these cars will act as a hive of micro air purifiers. as a consequence, everyone who has inadvertently become a part of the problem, will contribute to the solution.

aura velocity



the fourth system looks at a network of drones, flying through the city of delhi. these ‘aura falcon’ drones are components nested within the cleaning towers that detach and move around the city guided by live updates of the pollution levels. they double up as cctv cameras with an added feature of security. this defensive and preventive network of ‘aura hive’, looks at creating a clean future for the city of delhi and as well as various other cities around the globe, making clean air accessible to everyone, not just the people who can afford it.

pollution in delhi NCR

delhi pollution outer layer

delhi pollution micro level

form development


aura hotspot and falcon

aura velocity

aura periphery



project info:


project name: aura: breathing lungs of the city

architects: studio symbiosis architects

design: amit gupta and britta knobel gupta

team: amit agrawal, kartik misra, sonal dongre jain, dewesh agrawal, chinmay chowdhary, mandeep chaudhary  pallav chaudhary, keshav sapra


designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lynne myers | designboom

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