SOM creates spiral of algae bricks for Chicago Structure Biennial set up

In collaboration with Colorado-based Prometheus Supplies, structure studio SOM has created a spiral set up made from bio-bricks for the 2023 Chicago Structure Biennial.

The set up was made utilizing the Bio-Block constructing materials developed by Colorado-based materials firm Prometheus Supplies, a masonry block created from micro-algae and mixture that gives a substitute for commonplace concrete.

“Extending our historical past of fabric analysis and prototyping on the Chicago Structure Biennial, Bio-Block Spiral introduces our collaboration with Prometheus Supplies to develop an algae-based, zero-carbon different to the concrete blocks discovered in all places in our buildings and cities,” stated SOM design associate Scott Duncan.

The one set up positioned within the Fulton Market District for this yr’s biennial, it was put in beneath a coated walkway at The Mews constructing in Downtown Chicago.

SOM and Prometheus Supplies have unveiled a spiraling set up on the 2023 Chicago Structure Biennial

“Echoing the shell-like materials composition of the bio-cement, [we] conceived of a spiralling kind that invitations Fulton Market guests to step off the busy avenue and discover the set up,” stated the studio.

The doorway to the spiral faces inwards in direction of the positioning’s walkway, whereas at its centre, a number of blocks have been rotated to create apertures that look out onto the positioning’s environment.

It was assembled utilizing a traditional stacked masonry approach carried out by the Worldwide Masonry Institute and J&E Duff.

The ends of the spiral, which kind the doorway and the inside wall, have been constructed utilizing an offset association that varieties undulating partitions.

A person installing a sculpture of bricks
It’s made from bio-bricks made from micro-algae

“Pleated ends display the flexibility of the block kind and enhance the structural stiffness of the set up, permitting the Spiral to be self-supported,” stated the workforce.

Prometheus Supplies was established in 2021 by professors on the College of Colorado at Boulder.

As of 2022, the fabric was going by means of testing to fulfill the American Society for Testing and Supplies (ASTM) requirements and at the moment it’s within the “midst of ongoing efficiency testing”. The workforce hopes it may be a direct substitute for Concrete Masonry Models (CMUs).

The method eliminates the usage of portland cement, which is the most typical sort of cement used around the globe. Made largely of crushed and burned limestone, it, together with concrete, contributes to about 8% of the world’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

A spiral of bricks
Standard masonry methods have been used to kind the set up

“This mission demonstrates how product growth, design, and development can come collectively to handle the local weather disaster in a significant method,” stated Prometheus Supplies president Loren Burnett.

Dezeen lately rounded up seven options to bricks made from reclaimed waste and supplies. Properly-known structure practices have been working to make use of extra of those supplies in development. For instance, UK-based studio Grimshaw lately labored with the College of East London to develop a brick made from sugarcane.

The 2023 Chicago Structure Biennal options work from greater than 70 world architects, artists and designers. This yr’s theme, This Is a Rehearsal, “investigates how structure is integral to collective care and the advance of city life.”

The pictures is by Dave Burk courtesy of SOM.

Chicago Structure Biennial 2023 runs from 21 September 2023 to 11 February 2024.  See Dezeen Occasions Information for an up-to-date record of structure and design occasions happening around the globe.