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A Skyscraper That Could Clean the Air

This proposed Chicago building doesn't look like much, but it could clean up the air around the city's expressway.

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Intent on reducing CO2 emissions from the neighboring Eisenhower Expressway, architects Danny Mui and Benjamin Sahagun have proposed splitting Chicago’s Congress Gateway Towers and applying a system of filtration devices to clean air pollutants. The multi-step process begins with the absorption of CO2 emissions from passing cars, which are then fed to algae grown in the building in order to help process the biofuels that supply the building residents’ cars.

The irregular shape of the towers seems to serve little purpose outside of aesthetic appeal (although it’s hard to determine who the architects are trying to appeal to). But the form of the structure does lend itself to communal outdoor terraces, and serves as an "iconic gateway to the city."

The buildings’ double-skin façade helps reduce traffic noise and creates enclosed balconies. While the towers are presented at an angle, the elevator core remains in the center of each building, offering a straight shot to the roof where there carbon scrubbers are located, capturing CO2 and other emissions.

All photos courtesy of Danny Mui & Benjamin Sahagun

This post originally appeared on Architizer, an Atlantic partner site.

About the Author

  • Ashley Wells is a Brooklyn-based intern at Architizer.