The impressive and evocative design concept called 8th Continent, the eighth continent, is a gigantic floating station that offers the solution to one of our planet's most pressing problems: ocean waste.
Created by the designer Lenka Petráková , this “mini continent” concept collects waste in the ocean and then breaks it down for recycling. It won the 2020 Grand Prix Award for Architecture and Innovation of the Jacques Rougerie foundation .
Structure design and concept
Created to float on the Pacific Ocean, the eighth continent is made up of five main parts :
- The barrier collects waste and collects tidal energy;
- The Collector that selects, biodegrades and stores ocean waste;
- The Research and Education Center is the place where inhabitants can study and show the effects on our oceans;
- Greenhouses are the place where plants are grown and the water is desalinated;
- The residential neighborhoods where people live.
The "continent" moves according to its position, its internal environment and the movements of the ocean. The entire platform is self-sufficient, using wave energy and the sun from the solar panels above the greenhouses.
How the idea of the eighth continent against ocean waste was born
Petráková explained that he drew inspiration for his project from marine life: just like self-sufficient living aquatic organisms, the eighth continent is also completely self-sufficient.
Besides being a marvel of architecture and design, it is clear that the main engine of the concept is our environment. As Petráková said a Euronews , "I realized how much the oceans have been destroyed and how many species have become extinct, how much pollution there is and that even species that may never have seen a human being are affected by our activities."