Our beautiful planet is in dire need of responsible citizens, and we must thank god for wonderful human beings like Lenka Petráková, who are doing exceedingly commendable work in the preservation of oceans. This senior designer at Zaha Hadid Architects in London and the 2020 Grand Prix Award winner has won accolades and hearts alike for conceptualizing the “8th Continent” project. It is a floating station that restores the marine environment by collecting plastic debris from the surface and breaking it down into recyclable material. Lenka Petráková says of her project, “I realized how destroyed the oceans are and how many species are extinct, how much pollution is there, and that the parts that may have never seen a human being feel the effects of our activities. I was looking into marine species, animals as well as plants. And I was studying how they really interact with water environments, how they can harvest energy, and how they work with nutritions, for example.” the celestial construction is outlined for the pacific ocean. It consists of five main parts: the barrier, the collector, the research and education center, greenhouses, and living quarters with support facilities. They each play an important role in serving the bigger purpose with the barrier collecting waste materials; the collector stores it, cleaning the waters. The research and education center is linked to the collector, and greenhouses are shaped to optimize condensed water collection. The further processes involve breaking it down into recyclable material.
Most importantly, after the wastewater extraction, the filtered clean water is pumped into the water tank and either desalinated or used for halophilic plants’ hydrophobic cultivation. The 8th Continent was awarded the 2020 Grand Prix Award for Architecture and Innovation of the Sea from Foundation Jacques Rougerie, a French institute that awards visionary projects that encourage sustainable collaborations between scientists and designers. It was also recently recognized with the Render of The Year 2020 – Overall / Directors Choice Award.