AL AIRE: Spain Lab- 09.04.12
Currently in Venice exploring the Architecture Biennale, and on memorable projects, AL AIRE (between air) was designed by architects Jose Selgas and Lucia Cano of Selgascano (see their bio) along with biologist Joesp Selga and Agronomist Juan Laureano, in the Spain Lab definitely sticks in my mind!
The installation was designed specifically for the Spanish Pavilion’s solar conditions. It maximizes the exposure to each plant tube by taking advantage of a terraced effect. Since each tube is also on a pulley, adjustments are easy. Even the trees can move up and down to accommodate for growth, giving them a great effect of floating. Every tube has a drip irrigation system that delivers water directly to the plants root system, maximizing efficiency and preserving resources.
The perforated material isn’t just aesthetic, it is designed to get light to the roots of the plants as well as air and space to grow. When the roots grow towards the light and reach the edge of the plastic tube, the cones guide the roots through the hole. This leads to a subtle dehydration of the root system which encourages lateral root growth. Basically when the root gets to the edge of the soil it begins branching from its base. The result is a very robust, fibrous root system.
The system is so fun, i’d love to see how it handles over time ~ take a peek at all of the details on the next page!
You can see the irrigation system coming down from above and going inside of each tube.
There is a structural system that the tubes fit into and then connect to one another. There you can see a hinge system with a rope typed to a pulley on the ceiling, This helps for distributing heat light, and water.
These peppers looked great! (although sadly, they are of the decorative, not edible variety)
Where they want to plant something they simply cut a little of the plastic away and dig out some soil.
The floating potless tree is awesome!
Here is a section detail of how the system all works together to create a highly efficient organization for light and water.