Carlo Ratti Associati presents with Cesare Griffa & EcoLogicStudio a natural man-made sustainable prototype, first bio-digital canopy, for the Future Food District project of the Milano Expo 2015. It exploits principally the use of algae as a consolidated architectural fabric & urban agriculture mechanism.

Arch2o-Urban Algae Canopy  Carlo Ratti Associati with Cesare Griffa & EcoLogicStudio (7)

Courtesy of Carlo Ratti Associati with Cesare Griffa & EcoLogicStudio

“The functioning principle of the prototype is based on the exceptional properties of micro-algae organisms, which are ten times more efficient photosynthetic machines compared to large trees and grasses’ said Carlo Ratti. Algae represents a significant component of health & liveable ecosystem, endorsing life to inexplicable urban gardens that can be utilized as an ingenious energy for diverse food production techniques.

Arch2o-Urban Algae Canopy  Carlo Ratti Associati with Cesare Griffa & EcoLogicStudio (8)

Courtesy of Carlo Ratti Associati with Cesare Griffa & EcoLogicStudio

Micro-algae perform a crucial photosynthetic activity with 150kg of biomass per day – 60% of which are natural vegetal proteins. It absorbs considerable supplies of carbon dioxide and oxygen, while simultaneously performs as a second skin of buildings with passive cooling. Cesare Griffa additionally states, ‘micro-algae open up an incredible potential for new renewable energy resources, and hope for a greener future building and architectural surfaces.

Arch2o-Urban Algae Canopy  Carlo Ratti Associati with Cesare Griffa & EcoLogicStudio (9)

Courtesy of Carlo Ratti Associati with Cesare Griffa & EcoLogicStudio

Urban façades and roofs represent billions of square meters that instead of being made of an inanimate material such as concrete, could become clever photosynthetic surfaces that respond to the current state of climate warming’.

By Depy Charalampidou

Courtesy of Carlo Ratti Associati with Cesare Griffa & EcoLogicStudio