Royal College of Art graduate Chang-Yeob Lee has developed a concept to transform the BT Tower in London into a pollution-harvesting high rise (+ movie).
Entitled Synth[e]tech[e]cology, the project predicts the eventual redundancy of the 189-metre tower - currently used for telecommunications - and suggests repurposing it as an eco-skyscraper that collects airborne dirt particles and helps to reduce the level of respiratory illness in London.
The process would involve extracting the carbon from petrol fumes and using it to produce sustainable bio-fuel.
"The project is about a new infrastructure gathering resources from pollutants in the city atmosphere, which could be another valuable commodity in the age of depleting resources," says Chang-Yeob Lee.
Lee describes his proposal as "a hybrid between a vertical oil field and laboratory for future resources". The exterior of the tower would form a giant eco-catalytic converter, while the interior would house a research facility investigating methods of increasing air movement and maximising the efficiency of the structure.
Similar structures could also be fitted to other unused high rises to create a network of pollution-reducing architecture.
Referencing a quote from architect Buckminster Fuller, Lee says: "Pollution is nothing but the resources we are not harvesting. We allow them to disperse because we've been ignorant of their value." He adds: "Pollution could be another economy".
Synth[e]tech[e]cology is Lee's diploma project from the architecture programme at the Royal College of Art in London and he was one of two winners of the Sheppard Robson Student Prize for Architecture at the Royal Academy of Arts' Summer Exhibition.
Other projects from this year's RCA graduates include bristly headdresses made from colourful plastic spikes and bicycle helmets made from old newspapers. See more projects by 2013 graduates.
Other conceptual skyscrapers we've featured include a building that would produce energy and clean water from algae, a tower constructed from rubbish and a hairy skyscraper that functions as a wind farm. See more conceptual architecture.
Here are a few words from Chang-Yeob Lee:
Synth[e]tech[e]cology _ Greenhouse Gas to Economic Asset
"Pollution is nothing but the resources we are not harvesting. We allow them to disperse because we've been ignorant of their value." - R. Buckminster Fuller
Harnessing advancements of various particle-capturing technologies, this project envisions that air pollution as a valuable commodity in an age of depleting resources. The scheme utilises the Post Office Tower adjacent to Marylebone Road, one of London's most polluted areas, as a hybrid between a vertical oil field and laboratory for future resources scrubbed from the atmosphere.
The project aims to show how hybrizided new infrastructure can gather pollutants, store, digest, and harvest them to dilute minerals and biofules, celebrating clean air process on the ground level. The ultimate ambition of the project is to be deployed as a retro-fitting strategy to tall unused or derelicy buildings in London, showing that alternative routes to 'economic profit' meaningfully engaged into pollution can be a provocative strategy for 'sustainable ecology'.