ecoLogicStudio, Anthropocene Island. Wastewater Treatment Plant, 2017. Courtesy ecoLogicStudio.


Anthropocene Architecture

Tallinn Biennale asks: Can a city's wastewater be transformed into gas, food and fertile soil using a biotechnological ecosystem?

August 2017
"The convergence of biology and computation in architecture and urban design is considered by many to be one of the most promising future disciplinary developments,” says Claudia Pasquero. The director of ecoLogicStudio is the curator of this year’s Tallin Architecture Biennale from September 13 to October 27, which focuses on the relationship between biotechnology, nature and the city.
A thought leader in systemic architecture, Pasquero has developed a prototype project site based on the Paljassare peninsula of the Estonian capital. A digital design platform to facilitate the creation of a masterplan with participants of the Biennale has been developed in collaboration with the co-founder of her London-based ecoLogicStudio, Marco Poletto. Called the Anthropocene Island, the project will operate out of the Museum of Estonian Architecture. Here’s a video teaser:

What is the Anthropocene?

According to founder of Next Nature, Koert van Mensvoort:
“The Anthropocene is the recently proposed epoch of Earth history that, proponents say, has begun with the rise of the human species as a globally potent biogeophysical force, capable of leaving a durable imprint in the geological record.”
Rather than resisting this irreversible intertwining between human activity and the global ecosystem, Pasquero has distinguished herself with game-changing architectural propositions. As part of the Anthropocene Island exhibition, for instance, she proposes that urban wastewater contaminate the seabed, which is evolved into an ‘urban digestive apparatus’. The dangerous microorganisms in wastewater are reprocessed by a biotechnologically designed ecosystem. Robotic farming devices then produce gas, food and fertile soil. This means that the continued urbanisation of the peninsula, in fact, cleans and feeds Tallin!
“I want [this biennale] to embody a quest to expand the scope of our rational understanding of the impending global environmental crisis, and of the ability of architecture to unpack complex urban issues by reframing the problematic field and expanding space for solutions," explains Pasquero.
Estonian Museum of Architecture Location of the Main Curatorial Exhibition “Anthropocene Island” bioTallinn – Tallinn Architecture Biennale 2017. Courtesy ecoLogicStudio.
ecoLogicStudio, Anthropocene Island. Air, clusters of inhabitable bioreactor cells (1x1km @0.5m/res), 2017. Courtesy ecoLogicStudio.
ecoLogicStudio, Anthropocene Island. Satellite view summer. Ground, urban bio-digestive terrain. (3x3km @1m/res), 2017. Courtesy ecoLogicStudio.
ecoLogicStudio, Anthropocene Island. Satellite view winter. Ground, urban bio-digestive terrain. (3x3km @1m/res), 2017. Courtesy ecoLogicStudio.
ecoLogicStudio, Anthropocene Island. Satellite view, infrared sensors. Ground, urban bio-digestive terrain. (3x3km @1m/res), 2017. Courtesy ecoLogicStudio.
bioTallinn, Anthropocene Island. Microscopic view of Paljassaare's algae, 2017. Courtesy of Estonian Academy of Arts, bio-computational Seminar.
bioTallinn, Anthropocene Island. Microscopic view of Paljassaare's algae, 2017. Courtesy of Estonian Academy of Arts, bio-computational Seminar.
Peninsula of Paljassaare in Tallinn (Estonia) Drone view, 2017. Courtesy ecoLogicStudio.
ecoLogicStudio, Anthropocene Island. Ornitological Park and Wastewater Treatment Plant, 2017. Courtesy ecoLogicStudio.
ecoLogicStudio, Anthropocene Island. Waste material of the Wastewater Treatment Plant, 2017. Courtesy ecoLogicStudio.
ecoLogicStudio, Anthropocene Island. Sludge of waste material of the Wastewater Treatment Plant, 2017. Courtesy ecoLogicStudio.
ecoLogicStudio, Anthropocene Island. Diagram. Wastewater network by minimized detour algorithm. The urbanisation of Paljassarre becomes the biotechnological re-metabolislation of Tallinn. (7.5x7.5km @10m/res), 2017. Courtesy ecoLogicStudio.