Orproject

This architectural concept sounds like something from Under the Dome.

You know China and India have environmental image problems when people give up on fixing their dismal air quality and instead suggest living like the Bubble Boy in hermetic, climate-controlled complexes.

That's the innovative and somewhat troublesome vision of international architecture firm Orproject, which proposes dotting cities in the developing world with green spaces containing filtered air. The "Bubbles Biodiversity Parks," as the recently awarded idea is called, isn't exactly original; back in the 1960s, Buckminster Fuller dreamed of enclosing Midtown Manhattan with a pollution-fighting, 2 mile-wide hemisphere. The project proved impractical, but the folks at Orproject assert today's technology could support smaller, more lightweight greenhouses—sort of like happier versions of the dreadful structure in Under the Dome.

Here's their idyllic pitch:

The geometry of the light-weight structural system has been generated using an algorithm which simulates the development of veins in leaves or butterfly wings. The heating and cooling of the air is done through a ground source heat exchange system. Electricity for the project can be generated by solar cells integrated into the canopy surface.

Botanical Gardens have been built in many world cities. They are attractions for tourists and recreational facilities for the inhabitants of the city. Both children and adults can experience nature and learn about the plants of the park. Inside the green houses, the temperature and humidity are controlled throughout the year, which allows the growth of plants from any climate. The plants and landscapes from all over the world can be placed inside the Bubbles project.

People reside not in the parks but in nearby apartments hooked up to the complex's air-scrubbing system. That's just one of the dicey things about this idea. It's easy to see how the hoi polloi choking on dirty air outside might come to resent, and perhaps have conflicts with, the clean-breathing Domespeople. Another: This proposal doesn't address the root cause of the pollution, such as coal-fired power plants—though to be fair, maybe it's not an architect's job to handle such things.

Behold, the beautiful bubbles:

Orproject

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Equity

    The Last Daycares Standing

    In places where most child cares and schools have closed, in-home family daycares that remain open aren’t seeing the demand  — or the support — they expected.

  2. photo: a For Rent sign in a window in San Francisco.
    Coronavirus

    Do Landlords Deserve a Coronavirus Bailout, Too?

    Some renters and homeowners are getting financial assistance during the economic disruption from the coronavirus pandemic. What about landlords?

  3. photo: South Korean soldiers attempt to disinfect the sidewalks of Seoul's Gagnam district in response to the spread of COVID-19.
    Coronavirus

    Pandemics Are Also an Urban Planning Problem

    Will COVID-19 change how cities are designed? Michele Acuto of the Connected Cities Lab talks about density, urbanization and pandemic preparation.  

  4. An African healthcare worker takes her time washing her hands due to a virus outbreak/.
    Coronavirus

    Why You Should Stop Joking That Black People Are Immune to Coronavirus

    There’s a fatal history behind the claim that African Americans are more resistant to diseases like Covid-19 or yellow fever.

  5. Equity

    We'll Need To Reopen Our Cities. But Not Without Making Changes First.

    We must prepare for a protracted battle with coronavirus. But there are changes we can make now to prepare locked-down cities for what’s next.

×