Aũra Cleaning Towers - Breathing Lungs of the City

Aura peripheryAura Hotspot

The design of Aũra cleaning towers by Studio Symbosis has been developed using the principles of aerodynamics to create a form that propagates maximum surface area and increased wind speed for a robust and efficient performance; the towers can intake polluted air from 360 degrees before sending it out at great speed and throw.

Fact File

Architects: Studio Symbiosis Architects
Design: Amit Gupta and Britta Knobel Gupta
Team: Amit Agrawal, Kartik Misra, Sonal Dongre Jain, Dewesh Agrawal, Chinmay Chowdhary, Mandeep Chaudhary, Pallav Chaudhary, Keshav Sapra.

Proprietary Filteration System
Aũra relates to distinctive atmosphere or quality that seems to surround and be generated by a person, thing, or place. In Greek and Latin, it means breath, and this is what we are looking for. The design of Aũra cleaning towers uses the principles of aerodynamics to propagate maximum surface area and increased wind speed for a robust and efficient performance. Simulation studies were conducted to attain minimum resistance and maximum surface area to achieve this optimum design.

An elliptical geometry has been designed as the starting point, as this gave us the minimum resistance, as also (for the same reason) the geometry used for the wings of an aircraft. The form was further developed by twisting the form; this twist in geometry channels the wind along the surface of the tower in the z direction, thereby exponentially increasing the surface area.

The cleaning towers of 60 m and 18 m height, respectively, can intake polluted air from 360 degrees. There are two main chambers: one to increase the relative velocity of the air and the other to clean the massive intake of air before sending it out at great speed. The clean colder air coming from the bottom enables a greater throw in the atmosphere, travelling larger distances.

The 18m cleaning tower can clean 32 million cubic meter of air every day and the capacity to clean 1,300,000m3 per hour. An average adult working inhales around 16m3 of air over the course of an 8-hour working day. The system works by taking polluted air from the upper area of the tower, which travels vertically within and is thrown out from the bottom of the tower. The section of Aũra further creates a compression and acceleration of intake wind, thereby increasing wind velocity within.

The air being thrown out is at a lower temperature and thus creates a pressure difference, between the warmer air at a lower intake level and cooler air at the dispersion level at top. This creates a loop around the towers propagating the cold air dropping down and pushing the warm air towards the Aũra.

Aura Hotspot and Aura FalconAura Hotspot and Aura Falcon

The design of the tower consists of a triangulated component, to ensure ease of execution. Each component is tapered in to create a compression of wind and thereby further increasing the air being pushed in. Green planters are provided on the surface of the cleaning tower to produce more oxygen and there is also has an integrated drip irrigation system.
Amit Gupta Founding Partners, & Architects Britta Knobel Gupta, Studio Symbiosis
The non-profit study by Studio Symbiosis looks at a multitude of solutions to create a comprehensive strategy to tackle and rectify the imminent threat posed by air pollution in Delhi – NCR. Everyone who can afford is buying home air purifiers, but why is clean air becoming a luxury and only accessible to a limited number of people? Our defensive and preventive network of Aũra Hive looks at creating a clean future in cities which should be accessible to every resident of the city.
Amit Gupta Founding Partners, & Architects Britta Knobel Gupta, Studio Symbiosis

Aũra Hive
Aũra has been developed as four different systems catering to different conditions of range and varying atmospheric wind speeds. The first scale deals with stopping the external pollution entering the city of Delhi, by fortifying it through a series of 60-meter tall air towers placed in a ring along the city border. This negates the pollution penetrating the city through this ring of clean air.

Days that record the highest pollution are the days when the wind velocity drops. Most of the cleaning towers work with a natural draft of wind and these tall towers with a 2.5 sqkm cleaning range when grafted within the city, will have a reduced output during the time of peak pollution, as there is no wind to push the pollution towards the towers.

Aura Hive

Given this fact, a secondary system of Aũra hotspots has been designed to be grafted within the city. These 18m tall towers create a grid that ensures clean air in the city. The hotspots are effective even when the wind speed drops, and the pollution level increases. The towers have a smaller range of 1sq km and are highly effective in cleaning the city during days with low wind speeds and highest pollution levels. Hotspots in each neighbourhood will help residents enjoy clean air in the evenings or on weekends.

Aũra Velocity
The third system looks at objects in motion, moving through the city of Delhi. Given that we don’t want to play with nature and generate artificial wind, a simple attachment on top of cars has been designed. This element looks at the aerodynamics of a car and the streamlines as achieved during computational fluid analysis, are being pushed through Aũra Velocity. This ensures that the part of the problem becomes a part of the solution.

Aura Hotspot and Aura FalconAura Velocity

These cars will act as a hive of micro air purifiers; the more they move in the city, the more they clean the city. It is a design of inclusion, rather than exclusion. We are suggesting that cars should be equipped with the Aura Velocity system, so that anyone who has inadvertently become a part of the air pollution problem, will contribute to cleaning the air by being a part of the solution.

Aũra Falcon
The fourth system looks at a network of drones, flying through the city of Delhi. These Aũra Falcon drones are components nested within the cleaning towers that detach and move around the city guided by live updates of the pollution levels. They double up as CCTV cameras with an added feature of security.

Aura Hotspot and Aura FalconAura Falcon
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