For an ambitious landscape design project, Magnus Larsson, a student at the Architectural Association in London, has proposed a 6,000km-long wall of artificially solidified sandstone architecture that would span the Sahara Desert, east to west, offering a combination of refugee housing and a "green wall" against the future spread of the desert.
Larsson's project deservedly won first prize last fall at the Holcim Foundation's Awards for Sustainable Construction held in Marrakech, Morocco.
One of the most interesting aspects of the project, I think, is that this solidified dunescape is created through a particularly novel form of "sustainable construction" – that is, through a kind of infection of the earth.
In other words, Larsson has proposed using bacillus pasteurii, a "microorganism, readily available in marshes and wetlands, [that] solidifies loose sand into sandstone," he explains.
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