Grow Buildings: Underwater Building Through Mineral Accretion

In the 1970s, architect Wolf Hilbertz began experimenting with mineral accretion as a method of underwater building.



062 grow buildings - mesh examples3
LEFT: A wire mesh with attached electrodes. RIGHT: A mesh array, the cathode of the reactor, all set for submersion in the ocean.
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS SYMBIOTIC PROCESS LABORATORY
062 grow buildings - artist's conception
An artist's conception of possible underwater-grown structures.
ILLUSTRATION: UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS SYMBIOTIC PROCESS LABORATORY
062 grow buildings - mineral accretion process
The stages of mineral accretion on an electrified mesh.
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS SYMBIOTIC PROCESS LABORATORY
062 grow buildings - wind generator
Hilbertz used wind generators to provide electrical power.
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS SYMBIOTIC PROCESS LABORATORY
062 grow buildings - resting on a screen
A diver rests on a mineral-encrusted wire screen.
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS SYMBIOTIC PROCESS LABORATORY
062 grow buildings - fish inspects screen
The mesh's light electrical field tends to attract curious fish.
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS SYMBIOTIC PROCESS LABORATORY
062 grow buildings - underwater warehouses
An artist's conception of underwater warehouses.
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS SYMBIOTIC PROCESS LABORATORY
062 grow buildings - two panels
LEFT: Artist's conception of the mineral accretion process used near shore to create beach houses. RIGHT: Hilbertz inspects an arch created underwater.
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS SYMBIOTIC PROCESS LABORATORY

















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