The Netherlands will contribute its own innovative solution by uniting food, water, and energy solutions at Expo 2020 Dubai.
Rising from the heart of the Dutch pavilion is a giant green cone that grows oyster mushrooms on the inside while the exterior is home to small edible plants. Constructed in the vision of Rotterdam-based V8 Architects, the pavilion is better described as a biotope, transforming into a mini, self-sufficient climate system that harvests its own water, food, and energy naturally.
The ‘Rainmaker’ technology – co-developed by SunGlacier Technologies and Dutch artist Ap Verheggen – extracts 800 liters of water daily from desert air using solar energy instead of relying on conventional water sources such as rainfall or rivers. It captures air through a wind-suction chimney connected to the cone that extends beyond the pavilion ceiling, powered by plastic or polyethylene terephthalate (PET) solar panels on the roof.
While these cells, crafted by award-winning solar designer Marjan van Aubel, convert sunlight for irrigation, they also function as transparent colorful skylights that let in plenty of sunshine for the plants growing on the food cone. Van Aubel’s lightweight solar panels resemble stained glass with overlapping lines that create a Moire effect, which will paint the pavilion in varied shades.
Inside, little to no sunlight and air heavy with humidity make the perfect conditions for a mushroom nursery. Adding on to the favorable climate is the chimney’s adiabatic cooling system that removes heat from evaporated water and releases it as cool air into the cone.
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