Space10, Ikea’s “future-living” lab in Copenhagen that brought us Growroom, the spherical urban garden, has developed a bioreactor called the Algae Dome in an effort to explore the potential that algae will have on the future of food and sustainability.
Debuting at the CHART Art Fair in Copenhagen earlier this month, the Algae Dome is a four-meter-high (about 13 feet) pavilion that houses a photo-bioreactor, a closed system primed to produce microalgae at high quantities.
The open structure was designed by architects Aleksander Wadas, Rafal Wroblewski, Anna Stempniewicz, and bioengineer Keenan Pinto and features 320 meters (about 1,050 feet) of coiled tubing through which green microalgae flows.
During three days of the fair, Space10 was able to produce 450 liters of algae. The display was meant to call attention to its potential to combat a number of issues around the world like malnutrition and climate change.
According to Space10, the benefits of the so-called superfood are manifold. Not only is algae rich in nutrients, containing twice as much protein as meat, it’s also packed with vitamins and minerals like iron. It can also reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, improving air quality in the process. Moreover, algae is the fastest growing plant organism and can grow just about anywhere, even in polluted water.
In creating Algae Dome, Space10 hopes to be a prototype for food-producing architecture. Can it be the meatball of the future? Have a look.