Paris-based young practice anticipates RIO + 20 debate with sustainable projects
A new Zero Carbon economy is progressively rising worldwide while our contemporary urban environment is in the middle of a radical transformation. Leaded by a pragmatic sustainable awareness, and anticipating this major shift, Influx_Studio is focused to inscribe this new green technological order into the urban fabric.
As buildings account for about 70 % of greenhouse gas emissions (particularly older ones) it seems hard to conciliate urban development goals with those of carbon reduction programs. Influx_Studio says there is an "enormous need to introduce a new sustainable model" which allows benefic closed loops in terms of providing clean energy, reducing and absorbing CO2 emissions, and finally, allowing sustainable economic growth.
While the EU Climate Commissioner, Connie Hedegaard, was urging world leaders attending the Rio+20 Conference, to double the share of renewable energy they use by 2030 and give all citizens access to sustainable power, the Paris based practice was unveiling the "Algae Green Loop" initiative. Their ambitious plan seeks to transform Chicago's iconic Marina City Towers, while helping to decarbonise the Loop area. Marina City represents both a revolutionary new kind of modern building but also a symbol of a fossil fuel economy. Deep innovative in 1964, Bertrand Goldberg's 20th century masterpiece is now obsolete in terms of what should bring us the new ecological paradigm.
The retrofitting seeks to achieve zero carbon footprint by introducing Algae bioreactor technology on both Marina City's towers. "While the world is looking for alternatives to fossil fuels Algae is an unlimited source of energy, food, and most important, a remarkable natural CO2 absorber" Influx_Studio claims. A closed loop system is conceived, which focuses on three different levels of urban decarbonisation: direct carbon sequestration from the air to feed the Algae bioreactor, absorption by vegetal photosynthesis (Algae, vertical farming on balconies and phyto-remediation garden in one of the parking ramps), and reduction by energy saving (introduction of solar and wind harvesting energy).
Influx_Studio's sustainable approach is already dealing with upcoming issues which surely reshape our urban environments. From biomimicry to energy landscapes, from urban co2-scrubbing to flood resilient urbanism, the driving force for their visionary approach is a transversal integration of fields. Becoming an emerging voice and introducing a new fresh vision, Influx_Studio's work is witnessing today how the 21st century could be.