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IPFS News Link • Architecture

Floating Laboratory '8th Continent'...

•, by: True Activist

A giant, floating and self-sustaining research lab measuring around the size of an island could actually be the answer to collecting, cleaning, and recycling all the trash in the ocean.

Called the 8th Continent, this huge structural masterpiece won the 2020 Grand Prix prize for architecture and innovation of the sea, and from the photo alone, it's easy to see why. Incredibly, the structure was designed to be so large that it will allow the operators to live, eat, work, study and sleep there full-time.

Looking like a magnificent alien object, the 8th Continent marine station looks just like a water lily, except that it's chained to the bottom of the sea while being designed to float above the ocean currents.

According to the chief designer, it was modeled to be a "living organism that is fully self-sustainable." It was also created with the intention of being able to host a number of different activities, with the most important being to clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a 900,000-square mile area that happens to be characterized by plastic waste – containing trillions of individual pieces of trash, if not more. At the moment, it's being cleaned using large nets using that use the currents to help it gather up and collect the insurmountable amount of trash that's floating within the oceans waters.

Senior Designer of the 8th Continent, Lenka Petráková at Zaha Hadid Architects in London, who happened to win the award shared, "I was looking into marine species, animals as well as plants. And I was studying how they really interact with water environments, how they can harvest energy and how they work with nutrition, for example."

As for the design of the lab, the three long legs – which look more like fins or tentacles – will have the ability to collect passing plastic waste while converting tidal energy into electricity at the same time. Then sitting on the top of the structure will be three research and education centers, while underneath them will be another three, tall and spiraling greenhouses that will have hydroponic gardens and even a water desalination plant.