Physaliaby Vincent Callebaut
Amphibious garden cleaning european waterways. Physalia is a vessel, 100% self sufficient in energy, whose bionic structure is inspired from the pneumatophorous called also “Physalia physalis”, from Greek physalis that means “water bubble”! As this aquatic pneumatophorous, the project is relevant by its perfect symmetry, its oblong shape and its translucent aspect. It is a sum-up of the nature and the biotechnologies dedicated to navigate on the main extra-European rivers between Danube and Volga, between Rhine and Guadalquivir, or also between Euphrate and Tiger. It is a poetic invitation to travel, a sensory experience for the transdisciplinary research, geopolitical debates, popular pedagogy and therefore for the emergence of an ecologic avant-garde on the water theme. It is a charismatic place, an abstraction of landscape opened on the world and mixing the European cultures through an innovative special assembling. It is a ecosystem reacting to its environment, a fragment of living earth, inviting the fauna and the flora of the fluvial biodiversity to come and make its nest in the city! Its architecture with carbon zero emission is eco-designed from renewable energies to make it as a prototype with positive energy, that means producing more energy than it consumes! Thus, its roof contains a double pneumatic membrane chiselled with smooth photovoltaic solar cells whereas under its hull the hydro-turbines transform the energy of the fluvial stream in hydro-electricity and enable to adjust the soft navigation. Its surface is made of aluminium covering the multi-hull steel structure. This silver-plated dress is covered by a TiO2 layer of anatase shape that by reacting to the ultraviolet rays enables to reduce the water pollution. Actually, in addition to being a self cleaning vessel, it enables to absorb and recycle by photo-catalytic effect, the chemical and carboned waste from the fluvial water rejected by the traditional boats and by industrialists. Moreover, the project is crossed in its double hull by a hydraulic network that enables to filter the fluvial water and to purify it biologically thanks to its planted roof. When the system of automatic irrigation works in “blue hours”, the architecture disappears in favour of an atmosphere. Actually, the project metamorphoses into a fog cloud with evanescent contour. The Physalia becomes therefore a perfumed evaporation space that seems to coil up the visitors in suspension inside. The architecture of the futurist ship reveals a perfect balance between the cantilever masses, placing it in light levitation on the water surface. The curved lines are refined and nerve. They show with elegance the innovative and stylish side of this place.