Oasis No. 8: Waste Heat Installation in Graz, Austria by Markus Jeschaunig | Yellowtrace

Oasis No. 8: Waste Heat Installation in Graz, Austria by Markus Jeschaunig | Yellowtrace

Oasis No. 8: Waste Heat Installation in Graz, Austria by Markus Jeschaunig | Yellowtrace

Oasis No. 8: Waste Heat Installation in Graz, Austria by Markus Jeschaunig | Yellowtrace

Oasis No. 8: Waste Heat Installation in Graz, Austria by Markus Jeschaunig | Yellowtrace

 

Bananas. Seems Europe is nuts for them. Statistically it’s the most popular tropical fruit in Europe and it’s available all year round in most supermarkets. But that comes at a cost – the environmental kind. It’s a cost that Markus Jeschaunig sought to address in his enviro/ food manufacturing/ installation art piece, Oasis number 8, in a vacant lot in the Austrian city of Graz.

“Getting to enjoy bananas and other tropical fruits in Europe requires a high level of energy and global logistics. Harvested while still green, the fruits are shipped from exporting countries with subtropical climates to Europe. This way of consumption stands for the current ecological foot-print – requiring 1.5 Earths to meet the demands humanity makes on the biosphere,” he said.

So what is this bubble, squeezed between buildings and jammed on the top of a rooftop all about? Well to start with, this is no ordinary bubble. It’s a greenhouse. And it’s powered by the waste heat of the refrigeration units from the nearby Pizzeria and Bakery. This grand bubble produces the perfect micro-climate for growing bananas, papaya and pineapple plants. Genius!

“As a parasitic architectural intervention, it can keep the interior climate of an EFTE bubble at more than 15° Celsius over the winter, the minimum temperature required by the tropical plants. The greenhouse bubble creates a contrast to the historic centre of Graz and uses only unused energy, waste heat from a cold store,” said Jeschaunig.

 

Related Post: Loud Shadows Temporary Bubble Pavilion In Amsterdam By Plastique Fantastique.

 

Oasis No. 8: Waste Heat Installation in Graz, Austria by Markus Jeschaunig | Yellowtrace

 

The facility is monitored by smartphones used by the local volunteers. And then once the fruit is ripe, the goodies are consumed by the public. Quite aside from the environmental benefit, there’s a world of nutritional benefits in eating fruit that is ‘vine ripened’ over fruit that is artificially ripened. Franky, it’s a winner all round.

“The project is an attempt to reveal energy potentials, criticise established systems and demonstrate new modes of action,” he noted.

It’s not an easy path to address the challenges inherent in reversing our carbon footprint, and reducing the damage done and being done to our environment. It takes not only brains and determination to come up with practical and sustainable solutions, it takes creativity. Jeschaunig has all of these attributes in spades. And if it’s a resounding success – hell, even if it’s a moderate success, we might find bubbles filled with bananas perched on rooftops across the city. And wouldn’t that be a wonderful sight to see… Banana factories in the sky.

 

 


[Images courtesy of Markus Jeschaunig. Photography by Simon Oberhofer.]

 

About The Author

Susanna McArdle

Susanna has a background in Interior Architecture and a passion for writing. Based in Sydney, she has worked both in Asia and Australia designing. An avid writer, it’s hard to know what she prefers more, stringing words together or creating spaces. But one thing she does know, is that she loves doing the both together.

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