Bratislava, Slovakia – Slovak designer Lenka Petrakova has won a prestigious international architecture prize for a prototype ocean cleaning facility.
Called “The 8th Continent” – in reference to the 1.6 million square meters of plastic waste located in the North Pacific – the groundbreaking deep ocean station is designed to remove plastic waste from the sea.
Her ingenious prototype “consists of interconnected petal-shaped buildings which stand on tentacle-like platforms, and all work together to collect plastic debris from the water surface and transform it into recyclable material”, explains The Calvert Journal.
“I believe today is the time to imagine a cleaner, environmentally more sustainable future and ways to achieve it with technical, architectural and artistic creations, to allow us to build them for ours and the world’s better tomorrows,” said Slovak laureate Lenka Petrakova, who works at the Zaha Hadid architecture studio in London.
It’s estimated that some 8 million metric tonnes of plastic waste end up in the ocean every year.
Ms. Petrakova’s visionary project was awarded the 2020 Grand Prix Award for Architecture and Innovation of the Sea from the Jacques Rougerie Foundation, a French institute that supports innovative and sustainable projects to address the world’s most pressing environmental challenges, and accompanies bio-mimetic architectural projects located in the sea or in space.
The foundation is named after Jacques Rougerie, a French architect and oceanographer, famous for his research on bio-mimetic and bio-inspired architecture and underwater projects.