A new German design for temporary housing utilizes leaf-like panels made of fiber-reinforced polymer that fit together to create a self-supporting modular dome. Inhabitat tells MHProNews.com the panels are translucent, allowing in daylight and spreading light at night. At 1650 lbs. it has a high strength-to-weight ratio, is easily moveable, and measures ten-feet high. Based on the structure of the cell wall of algae, it is called the Cocoon_FS, and is the brainchild of Pohl Architects and Plankton Tech. Modern microscopy and computer engineering focusing on evolutionary mechanisms allowed researchers at Plankton Tech to magnify the silica that comprise a cell wall. They then made a 3-D model of its interlocking spines, pores, ribs, and elevations, and from that an architectural design of the Cocoon evolved. Growing in popularity in the bio-fuels and food technology industries, this marks the first known time algae has inspired building technology. The modular will be replicated and available for viewing at different sites around the globe.
(Photo credit: Pohl Architects)