The World Health Organization reports that 99% of people living in urban areas are exposed to air quality levels that exceed safe daily limits. This means that you and I and everyone we know regularly breathe in unhealthy levels of fine particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide when doing most mundane tasks. Indoor air purifiers have become one of the essential home health appliances, giving us the ability to combat environmental pollution. But what about those times when you’re outside? Symbiosis Studio The solution takes a community approach with Rolea 360-degree omni-directional air filtration system designed to improve air quality while breathing outdoors.

VERTO’s designers claim the air purifier can clean 600,000 cubic meters of air per day while significantly reducing levels of nitrogen dioxide and fine particulate matter in the air. the hunt? Just like any air purifier, the air quality level (AQI) decreases the further you are from the VERTO outlet.

Studio Symbiosis named its mosaic tower for the concept of cleaning power after the word meaning “rotation” in Greek and Latin, and indeed the 5.5-metre-high tower was designed using computational fluid dynamics to optimize the purification surface area and maximize cleaning. The air comes out. Serendipitously, improved computational models of air cleaning also led to the design of a self-stylish lattice tower, improving the chances of public acceptance.

“Simulation studies were performed to achieve the minimum resistance and maximum surface area to achieve this optimal design. An elliptical geometry was designed as a starting point, as this gave us the minimum resistance. The shape was further developed by twisting the shape, and this twisting of the geometry directs Winds along the tower roof in the z direction, thus greatly increasing the surface area.

Drawings explaining how the VERTO's circular shape allows 360 degrees of air in for filtered air to eventually flow out.

Outdoor air filters already exist and operate at a limited capacity to improve “outdoor” areas such as underground subway stations. But outdoor air filtration is a difficult problem compared to that handled by an indoor or partially outdoor air filtration system. Optimal filtration requires consistent and robust air exchange through a filtration membrane; Within a closed room, this flow can be constantly controlled by air velocity. But outdoors, even a breeze outside can dramatically change the air quality.

Image simulating a VERTO stationed in a large public park, with many people loitering near the grass and under trees.

A close-up of VERTO's spiral network design at its park installation in New Delhi.

VERTO addresses this problem with a 360-degree design to create a temperature and pressure difference between the incoming air and the outgoing air, creating a ring around the tower that pulls warm air toward the tower. Once pulled into the VERTO, a filtration membrane removes fine airborne particles of 10 microns or less in diameter (PM10), down to 2.5 microns or less in diameter (PM2.5) before exhaling clean air.

Two cropped images: 1. Close-up of the VERTO Tower from an upward perspective.  2. A woman walks with a small white dog near VERTO's air filtration tower.

VERTO has already been improving air quality for over a year now for a select and lucky few at Sunder Nursery Park in New Delhi.

Just like a decent home air purifier, the VERTO is equipped with a variable fan to adjust speed and power usage according to air pollution levels. The microfilter membrane is partially recyclable, requiring replacement every six to nine months.

The VERTO air purification tower has a white mesh design surrounded by trees and a blue sky above.

Following a page from the IKEA manual, VERTO’s fiberglass reinforced concrete panels are designed to be shipped in flat packs for eventual on-site module assembly.

A 3D rendering of the Studio Symbiosis Aũra Hive Tower concept, a 60-metre-tall air filtration tower rising above the hazy morning sky from a small stand of trees with several other Aũra Hive towers visible in the distance.

Studio Symbiosis Aũra Hive’s tower concept proposed in 2019 is essentially VERTO of enormous size – 60-metre-tall air towers designed to purify 30 million cubic meters of air per day. This is enough to improve the air quality for half a million people in its vicinity.

Studio Symbiosis is far from going it alone in its quest to bring outdoor air filtration to the masses, especially in countries like India where over a million deaths every year are attributed to poor air quality. China has built the world’s largest air purifier to help reduce smog levels on a scale that dwarfs VERTO. Similar to VERTO, Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde designed the smog-free tower (shown below) after living in both China and India.

Although common sense is laudable, it requires companies and countries alike to invest in reducing sources of pollution before Installing outdoor air purifiers in every corner, knowing that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Gregory Hahn is a senior editor at Design Milk. A Los Angeles native with a deep love and curiosity for design, hiking, tidal pools, and road trips, a selection of his adventures and musings can be found at

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