“The 8th Continent” is an award-winning design that restores the health of the oceans, recycles plastic and consumes no energy along the way.
Zaha Hadid Architects’ lead designer in London, Lenka Petráková, developed the idea for her master’s thesis at the University of Applied Arts at Hani Rashid studio a few years ago, having studied ocean pollution.
“I realized how destroyed the oceans are and how many species have gone extinct, how much pollution there is, and that the parts that may never have seen a human being feel the effects of our activities, “he says.
The project is like an oceanographic vessel that, in addition to cleaning the ocean, is self-sufficient.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), at least 8 million tons of plastic end up in the sea every year. And most of this plastic comes back to us, ending up in our food and our bodies. In addition, it is estimated that 100,000 marine mammals and turtles and one million seabirds die each year from plastic pollution.
Petráková reworked his university project a few months ago and the final concept has just won the 2020 Grand Prize for architecture and innovation of the sea, in the competition organized by the Jacques Rougerie Foundation.
The designer was inspired by marine life to come up with her project. He created the floating station to be a “totally self-sufficient living organism,” he says.
“I looked at marine species, both animals and plants. And I studied how they actually interact with aquatic environments, how they can harvest energy and how they work with nutrition, for example.”
His idea was not only to design a concept that would clean the ocean, but would also restore its health.
The station removes plastic from the sea and houses research and education facilities, as well as an ocean plastic recycling center. It produces its own energy and is equipped with greenhouses and desalination centers.
The main objective is to help clean up the so-called “sixth continent”, the Great Garbage Patch that covers 1.6 million square kilometers of the Pacific Ocean.
Click on the video above to learn more about this project.
Article adapted from the “Living” section of the euronews edition in English, on climate change, sustainable lifestyles and environmental issues.