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Comploo by Bakoko Architects

Heating things up in Japan with decaying compost.

Comploo by Bakoko Architects


August 25th, 2010

When compost meets an igloo, the result is Comploo.  

Conceived by Tokyo-based architects Bakoko, the Comploo is an energy-saving experiment, which aims to heat small spaces with decaying compost.

Japanese households produce 400 million tons of waste per year,” Alastair Townsend, one half of Bakoko, told Indesignlive.com. “In Tokyo food accounts for 30 percent of all household waste.”

“Much is made of wind and solar energy sources these days”, said architect Alastair. “Having experimented with composting ourselves, we wondered if could compost also be part of the solution to global warming?”

Composting can generate heat in excess of 50ºC as the organic material decomposes.

comploo by bakoko architects

Bakoko architects wanted to explore the possibility of heating small spaces – such as teahouses – with this energy, while at the same time engaging the imagination of the public.

“Comploo was originally designed as a way to raise community awareness about composting in a fun and interactive way. That’s why it is intended for public parks, community farms, etc.”

Shaped like an igloo and covered with an ETFE dome to allow natural light to filter through, the internal space is surrounded by bins. 

Garden waste, food scraps or other compostable materials are inserted through a door at the top of each bin.

comploo by bakoko architects

Air is circulated through sealed ducts passing between the bins, which warm the inside by emitting air into the interior.

Occupants sit upon a circular bench surrounding the heat source.

The rich organic compost can later be extracted from a door at the bottom of each bin, providing fertiliser for new vegetation, which will eventually fuel to Comploo once more.

“The concept will is suited to large urban parks, community garden, or even serving as an outdoor cafe – anywhere that generates a continuous supply of organic waste for fuel.”

Bakoko Architects


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