Slovak Designer Wins Top Prize for Innovative Ocean Cleaning Prototype

The 8th Continent.

A prototype ocean cleaning facility by Slovak designer Lenka Petráková has scooped the highest award in an architectural competition for projects posing creative solutions to environmental challenges. (Image: via Lenka Petráková)

The amount of plastic waste accumulated in the ocean is a major threat to marine ecosystems. In a recent development, a prototype ocean cleaning setup made by a Slovak designer has drawn the attention of environmentalists. The ocean cleaning prototype designed by Lenka Petráková has fetched the designer the top award in a high-profile architectural competition.

Ocean cleaning prototype The 8th Continent

Petráková has named the ocean cleaning prototype The 8th Continent. It is a uniquely designed floating station meant to effectively clean plastic and other waste deposited in seawater. Petráková’s prototype won the Grand Prix Award for Architecture and Innovation of the Sea 2020. It is given by the Foundation Jacques Rougerie, which rewards visionary projects on environmental issues.

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Receive selected content straight into your inbox.

The following is a video of the operation of The 8th Continent:

Petráková’s ocean cleaning model is made up of petal-shaped buildings based on tentacle-type platforms. The petals are interconnected. These components work in sync to gather plastic waste from seawater and then that is turned into recyclable material. Interestingly, the prototype is not limited to just cleaning ocean waste. It also includes a research and education setup for exploring marine environments and has a greenhouse for growing plants without using soil. The facility has amenities for researchers to reside in it as well.

The 8th Continent to be self-sufficient

The prototype is meant to be self-sufficient and will use the marine environment for sustenance. The buildings are positioned in a way that air can pass through them. This will allow them to cope better with strong gusts of winds. It also has provisions for harnessing both solar and tidal energy. Petráková said: “Although it is an unbuilt project, as Jules Verne said, anything one man can imagine, another man can make real. And I believe today is the time to imagine a cleaner, environmentally more sustainable future and ways to achieve it with technical, architectural, and artistic creations, to allow us to build them for ours and the world’s better tomorrows.”

The 8th Continent’s structure is meant for use in the Pacific Ocean. There are 5 sections: living quarters, greenhouses, a research and educational section, a collector, and a barrier. The barrier collects waste from the sea surface, which is then segregated and biodegraded in the collector section.

The ocean cleaning prototype The 8th Continent designed by Lenky Petrákové.
Petráková works as a senior designer at London-based Zaha Hadid Architects. (Image: Lenka Petráková )

Petráková works as a senior designer at London-based Zaha Hadid Architects. The ocean cleaning prototype’s concept was developed initially at the Vienna-based University of Applied Arts. Petráková said she was inspired by marine life and so her prototype is much like living aquatic organisms and self-sustainable.

Still, according to National Geographic, not all plastic waste floats on the ocean surface. Denser debris can sink centimeters or even several meters beneath the surface. Thus it remains to be seen how effective The 8th Continent is at removing significant volumes of plastic waste. However, environmentalists have hailed it, saying it is a step in the right direction.

Follow us on TwitterFacebook, or Pinterest

Recommended Stories

Doomed star in the Milky Way.

Doomed Star in Milky Way Threatens Rare Gamma-Ray Burst

University of Sydney astronomers, working with international colleagues, have found a star system like none ...

Hong Kong demonstrators holding a large banner.

The Most Memorable Moments Amid Hong Kong Protests (Part 2)

As Hong Kong’s anti-extradition demonstrations persist, more unforgettable moments continue to emerge. We shared the ...

China Cables.

Leaked Chinese Prison Camp Documents Show How Uyghurs Are Brainwashed

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) recently published a series of leaked Chinese documents ...

Strawberries with mold growing on them.

Safe Consumption of Moldy Food: Separating Myths From Facts

Have you ever questioned the age-old advice to chuck out any food with even a ...

A man arriving late to a meeting.

9 Work Habits to Be Successful

A person’s success happens for a reason. If you want to be successful in the ...

Young woman with a sad expression as she looks at the screen of her phone.

How to Let Go of Regrets and Embrace a Happier Life

You’ve all been there — you did something horrible you regret doing or let go ...

GOES-18 image of Hunga Tonga Volcano. (Image: NOAA)

The Tonga Volcano Eruption Caused a ‘Superbubble’ in Earth’s Ionosphere, Disrupting Satellite Navigation

With technology increasingly embedded in our everyday lives, it is becoming more important to understand ...

AI imitating the 'Creation of Adam.'

AI and Art: Deciphering Copyright Ownership of AI-Generated Images

With artificial intelligence (AI) carving its niche in every sphere of life, including arts and ...

Boy's bedroom with stylish furniture.

7 Ways to Encourage Children to Clean Their Rooms

Many parents, particularly mothers, can relate to the exasperating sight of their children’s disorganized rooms, ...

Send this to a friend