Physalia – The Amphibious Garden

We are well aware of the current oil crisis and the constant struggle to provide viable alternatives. However, Vincent Callebaut Architectures, have set their sights on another important problem: How to obtain cleaner water? Every human needs to consume water to survive, however thousands of people die each day because they have no access to potable water. In response to the clean water dilemma , Callebaut has developed The Physalia, an amphibious garden, to travel the European waterways. Currently, it is still a concept, but a very promising one.

The Physalia is completely self-sufficient, so much so that it generates more energy than it uses. Hydro-turbines convert the energy of the flowing waterway into hydro-electricity and the roof consists of a double pneumatic membrane with smooth photovoltaic solar cells. The Physalia also reduces water pollution. The silver-plated hull is covered by Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) which under ultraviolet light can sterilize and deodorize. Water is also absorbed, filtered, and recycled by photocatalysis and biologically through the planted roof. The cleaned water can then be reintroduced into receiving rivers.

Did I mention that The Physalia carries passengers? This vessel consists of four gardens named after the elements, earth, air, fire, and of course water. The “Water Garden” is the main entrance and the “Earth Garden” contains the laboratory dedicated to scientists and researchers who will study the aquatic ecosystems encountered on the journey. The “Fire Garden” is more secluded and hides an underwater lounge, while the “Air Garden” houses an amphitheater. Time will tell if this fascinating concept becomes reality.

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