The Algae Dome at CHART ART FAIR

August - September 2017
Kunsthal Charlottenborg, DK
12 am
12 am
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We are delighted to announce that SPACE10 will once again house one of the five pavilions at CHART ART FAIR — the Nordic region’s leading art fair and cultural event.

The Algae Dome at CHART ART FAIR

Since its launch in 2013, CHART has become a major platform for art and culture in the nordic region, and attracts thousands of visitors each year.

One of CHART’s aims is combine existing established artists with up-and-coming young talents within art and architecture. And one of its highlights is CHART ARCHITECTURE — a competition that invites students from Nordic architecture schools to design and build pavilions for presentation in the baroque courtyards of Kunsthal Charlottenborg, a contemporary art gallery in Copenhagen. Displayed during and after the CHART art fair, each pavilion is intended to be a temporary sculpture exploring the relationship between art and architecture.

Last year SPACE10 was invited to commission one of the five pavilions. Together with architects Mads-Ulrik Husum and Sine Lindholm, we created the Growroom — an artistic exploration of the potential of urban farming. Its aim was to trigger conversations about how to bring nature back into our cities, grow our own food and tackle the rapidly increasing demand for significantly more food.

For the competition this year, CHART invited architects to design and create pavilions based on the “living city”. Participants were specifically encouraged to challenge conventional conceptions of sustainable construction and fabrication, to create innovative temporary spaces that promote sustainability, and to conceive ideas which experiment and play with the creativity of art and the functionalism of architecture. They were also encouraged to investigate new and alternative affordable materials and groundbreaking assembly methods that actively promote the reuse and repurposing of materials without compromising architectural functionalism and quality.

SPACE10 was again invited to commission one of the five pavilions in competition. Following an open call for applications, we chose Aleksander Wadas, Rafal Wroblewski, and Anna Stempniewicz, architects at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, to create Algae Dome – a four-metre-tall pavilion that functions as a photo-bioreactor. The dome-shaped pavilion will have a 320-metre-long coiled tube, through which 450 litres of algae will flow. Through photosynthesis, the algae will extract carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and replace it with oxygen.

Stempniewicz says one purpose of Algae Dome is to use algae in an aesthetically pleasing way. Despite its utilitarian and technological feel, the pavilion will still be “visually appealing”, she explains, thanks to a tubular system that allows sunlight to shine through the flowing algae.

As with the Growroom last year, visitors will be able to walk into Algae Dome, where they will experience a kind of “air purification zone”, Stempniewicz says, as the algae released oxygen into the atmosphere. In this way, she explains, the dome will educate people about the phenomenon of algae and its ability to reduce pollution through photosynthesis. “We want people to walk into  it,” she says “It will be a sanctuary of fresh air.”

Stempniewicz, Wadas and Wroblewski hope Algae Dome will one day be used in some of the world’s most polluted cities. In particular, they envisage the construction of “algae bus stops” which could remove carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides from the air around transportation hubs in heavily polluted cities in India and China.

Algae Dome may also have future uses as a way of producing food, animal feed, fertiliser, construction materials and biofuel. Hypothetically, for example, by using certain algae the structure could be used to treat wastewater from industrial agriculture and produce a bio-fertiliser or animal-feed supplement from the resulting biomass. Alternatively, it could be used to provide an alternative and sustainable form of food in developing countries.

“Algae Dome is proof of concept on sustainability in architecture and how we can use different types of materials to deal with some of the crucial social, economic and political problems,” Stempniewicz says.

CHART runs from 1 to 3 September. The seven-person jury includes Bjarke Ingels, architect and founder of BIG Bjarke Ingels Group, and Bjørnstjerne Christiansen, co-founder of SUPERFLEX. The winning architects will be announced on September 2, during CHART. They will be offered a mentorship programme in collaboration with the Dreyer Foundation with a professional architect, a construction expert and a developer which will help develop their careers. For more information about CHART, visit