in denmark, SPACE10IKEA’s external future-living lab — has erected the ‘algae dome’, a four-meter-high pavilion capable of growing what could be ‘the supercrop of the future’. designed by architects aleksander wadas, rafal wroblewski, anna stempniewicz, and bioengineer keenan pinto, the food-producing structure houses a photo-bioreactor, a closed system that enables the high productivity of microalgae, microscopic algae that are typically found in freshwater and marine systems.

SPACE10 algae dome
all images by niklas adrian vindelev

 

 

SPACE10’s scheme incorporates 320 meters of coiled tubing through which emerald green microalgae is able to flow. the project has been presented at copenhagen’s CHART art fair, where, thanks to some early-autumn sunshine in denmark, the dome was able to produce 450 liters of microalgae during three days. adding to the experience, visitors to the event could also taste spirulina chips developed by SPACE10’s chef-in-residence, simon perez.

SPACE10 algae dome
the ‘algae dome’ is a four-meter-high pavilion

 

 

‘our mission at SPACE10 is to explore ways to make the world better, more meaningful and more sustainable,’ says IKEA’s external future-living lab. ‘right now we’re exploring the future of food and ways to improve the food system. we believe that algae could provide the answer to some of the world’s biggest problems — from malnutrition to climate change.’

SPACE10 algae dome
the structure is capable of growing what could be ‘the supercrop of the future’

 

 

it is imagined that in the future, different species of microalgae could be used for a variety of purposes: as a form of nutrient-rich food; as a replacement for soy protein in animal feed; in the development of biofuels; as a way to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from the atmosphere; and as a method of treating industrial wastewater. consequently, microalgae could help combat malnutrition, reduce dependence on fossil fuels, help stop the destruction of the rainforest, improve air quality, and reduce pollution.

SPACE10 algae dome
the food-producing structure houses a closed system that enables the high productivity of microalgae

 

 

according to SPACE10, microalgae can grow anywhere in the world and can double in size each day. the crop provides 50 times more iron than spinach and more than twice as much protein as meat. furthermore, instead of putting additional pressure on the environment, microalgae reduces greenhouse gases and improves local air quality.

SPACE10 algae dome
the scheme incorporates 320 meters of coiled tubing

 

 

‘imagine an apartment building equipped with a similar photo-bioreactor that not only boosted hyper-local oxygen levels but also produced spirulina that the building’s residents could use to supplement their diets,’ says the design team. ‘or picture kitting out bus stops with algae that stripped greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and produced spirulina that could be used to bake fortifying bread for malnourished families.’

SPACE10 algae dome
emerald green microalgae flows through the tubes

SPACE10 algae dome
the dome produced 450 liters of microalgae during three days

SPACE10 algae dome
visitors to the CHART art fair could also taste spirulina chips

SPACE10 algae dome
the crisps were developed by SPACE10’s chef-in-residence, simon perez

SPACE10 algae dome
detail of the spirulina chips

SPACE10 algae dome
microalgae provides 50 times more iron than spinach

SPACE10 algae dome
the crop reduces greenhouse gases and improves local air quality

 

 

project info:

 

architects: aleksander wadas, rafal wroblewski and anna stempniewicz
bioengineer-in-residence: keenan pinto
chef-in-residence: simon perez
project partners: østerbro tømmerhandel, designLED, danish technological institute, CHART art fair
photography: niklas adrian vindelev

 

film credit
made by: fantom film + JJ film
director: émile sadria
photographer: william von bülow
producer: mads jørgensen
concept: simon caspersen
music: kasper marott

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