Daan Roosegaarde's Smog Free Tower opens in Rotterdam

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Designer Daan Roosegaarde has installed the "largest smog vacuum cleaner in the world" in Rotterdam to help improve the city's air quality (+ movie).

Smog Free Tower by Daan Roosegaarde

Roosegaarde's Smog Free Tower was unveiled on 4 September 2015 at Vierhavensstraat 52, following a successful Kickstarter campaign to help fund the project.

Smog Free Tower by Daan Roosegaarde

The seven-metre-tall structure is designed to create a pocket of clean air in its vicinity, offering a respite from hazardous levels of pollution.

Smog Free Tower by Daan Roosegaarde

According to the designer, it processes 30,000 cubic metres of air per hour – removing ultra-fine smog particles and pumping out clean air using no more electricity than a water boiler.

Smog Free Tower by Daan Roosegaarde

"The Smog Free Tower produces smog-free bubbles of public space, allowing people to breathe and experience clean air for free," said a statement from Roosegaarde.



The smog is sucked in through its top, then the purified air is released through vents on the six sides. Its patented technology works in a similar way to air purification systems used in hospitals.

Smog Free Tower by Daan Roosegaarde

Air pollution frequently reaches hazardous levels in many cities across the world. Roosegaarde claims that life expectancy in the Netherlands is nine months shorter than it should be due to smog.

Smog Free Tower by Daan Roosegaarde

"We humans have created machines to enhance ourselves, we invented the wheel and cars to liberate ourselves and travel," said Roosegaarde. "But now these machines are striking back, making air extremely polluted in high-density cities."

Smog Free Tower by Daan Roosegaarde

After its stint in Rotterdam, the Smog Free Tower is due to travel around the world to cities including Mumbai and Beijing.

Smog Free Tower by Daan Roosegaarde

Roosegaarde is also making use of the collected smog particles – turning them into jewellery items.

Smog Free Tower by Daan Roosegaarde

The dust removed from 1,000 cubic metres of air is compressed and sealed within a resin cube, which is used as an embellishment for a ring or a cufflink.

Smog Free Tower by Daan Roosegaarde

The Smog Free Tower has so far raised almost €74,000 (£54,000) on Kickstarter, smashing its €50,000 (£37,000) target, with nine days of the campaign still remaining.

Smog Free Tower by Daan Roosegaarde
A resin cube containing smog particles attached to a ring

Roosegaarde first unveiled a proposal for an "electronic vacuum cleaner" to remove smog from skies in 2013.

Smog Free Tower by Daan Roosegaarde

His more recent projects include illuminating a Dutch road surface using solar power and creating a glowing cycle path.

  • eloy hensen

    Bollocks, it is the cart before the horse. Daan is a brilliant guy, but this should be an art project. Kickstarting a smog-free movement?! Seriously. I think this is a marketing project, with little environmental impact.

  • Durgen Jensen

    Colour would help to make it look more friendly.

  • baddogrex

    Interesting. This, however, is not the solution. It’s like eating anti-stress drug, instead of removing the cause of the stress in first place.

    Or to put it in another, simpler way, coffee will not substitute sleeping in the longer run.