In this week’s iteration of Concrete Ideas, we spotlight a playground built as an oasis of fresh air for children living in one of Europe’s most polluted cities, Warsaw.
Designed by the London-based ecoLogicStudio, AirBubble is an interactive playground powered by solar energy that incorporates one very unusual engineering element — air-purifying micro-algae.
Each time a child jumps on one of the park’s water pumps, it activates 52 micro-algae reactors, which allow the plants to store CO2 and release fresh oxygen into the playground at a high speed.
At the same time, the sound of bubbling algae was added to create a calm atmosphere and cancel out the noise pollution of the busy roads in the area.
Since being unveiled in May, this technology has already proved to reduce levels of nitrogen and particulate matter by up to 83 per cent, filtering around 200 litres of polluted air per minute.
Located next to the Copernicus Science Centre (Centrum Nauki Kopernik), the playground is equipped with ropes, foot pumps, and bouncy green and black spheres.
“There is untapped value in bringing the bio-intelligence of natural systems into cities, turning buildings into living machines that produce energy, store CO2 and clean the air,” says Marco Poletto, co-founder of ecoLogicStudio. “To achieve this, we need to think about the living world as a part of the current digital revolution: nature becomes part of a new bio-smart infrastructure.”
In the future, ecoLogicStudio plans to create more AirBubbles across the world.