Today’s Solutions: April 19, 2024

Here at The Optimist Daily, we have a soft spot for creative solutions to environmental challenges. That’s why we’re happy to share with you the story of the 8th continent — an award-winning design that recycles ocean plastic and is fully self-sustainable.

Designed by Lenka Petráková, a senior designer at Zaha Hadid Architects in London, the five-part structure features everything from greenhouses and living quarters to biodegradable waste collectors and water desalination facilities.

The prototype ocean-cleaning facility is named in reference to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch — a 1.6 million square kilometer collection of marine debris floating in the Pacific Ocean. “I realized how destroyed the oceans are and how many species are extinct, how much pollution is there, and that the parts that may have never seen a human being, feel the effects of our activities,” says Petráková.

The designer was inspired by marine life when coming up with her concept. After researching how marine species live and interact with each other and their environment, Petráková created the floating station to be a “living organism that is fully self-sustainable.” The idea was not only to design a concept that cleans our oceans but one that also restores their health. The concept just won the 2020 Grand Prix award for its innovative architectural design, following a competition launched by Foundation Jacques Rougerie.

As reported by Euronews, the station could stay anchored to the sea bed when operational, but remain flexible to move in line with ocean currents. Harnessing the power of tidal waves, the structure would make its own renewable electricity to power its plastic collection facilities and water desalination centers, maximizing the health of the marine environment around it.

Image source: Euronews

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