Spatializing Algae 2: Urban Battery
Urban Battery, by MOS, was the winning entry in last year's Flip a Strip competition, which challenged entrants to rethink and redesign the strip malls of Arizona. In response, the designers offered an “off-the-grid power station, vertical greenhouse and a billboard all at once.”
It's the unabashedly longitudinal literally flipped up.
Largely leaving the strip mall intact, MOS concentrated on the parking lot, wherein stands a “300’ by 300’ lightweight structure support[ing] a series of thin glass channels housing a network of pipes, tubes, and algae to produce filtered, clean air and gases for biofuel. A system of wind turbines generates electricity supporting the activities of the strip mall and the surrounding neighborhood. It dispenses electricity through wind turbines, breezes and healthy air offsetting the effects of Scottsdale Road and the parking.”
The team noted that the Scottsdale competition site “lacks any healthy urban infrastructures, no community centers, no pools, no green space, it's a dead quadrant.” To offset this, MOS added public and semi-public spaces underneath this vertical aquarium that would be used for dancing, yoga and other forms of physical activity. Additionally, these spaces are connected to other vertical gardens at other strip malls via bike and walking paths.
All put together, then, here is an urban infrastructure meant to counter the effects of obesity, pollution and urban sprawl.
Meanwhile, could you pixelate those algae-filled tubes — that is, make them chromatically flicker either by chemical means or through changes in light filtration and salinity or some heretofore unknown method &dmash; so that you could make an avant-garde movie (or an animated billboard ad) to be shown for spectators parked in their cars on the parking lot or for motorists navigating through the urban flatscape?