TetraPOT is a sea defence system that comes with plant seeds in a decomposable pot. The roots intertwine and form a natural sea defence, which prevents soil erosion while protecting and creating a natural habitat.
Lee Sheng-Hung, Lee Wan Kee
TetraPOT began with a vision to create a stronger yet greener sea defence. Current artificial sea defence structures tend to be dislodged by the force of the ocean constantly crashing against them over time. They have also been criticised for destroying the natural scenery along coastlines. In terms of natural sea defence, more than 35% of the world’s mangroves are already destroyed due to greenhouse effect. In response to this phenomenon, the design focuses on creating symbiosis between artificial sea defence and natural sea defence.
TetraPOT is a sustainable sea defence system made of concrete, organic materials and plants. It comes in the form of plant seeds housed in a decomposable pot. By randomly distributing TetraPOTs along coastlines, they will eventually create an interlocking, long-lasting sea defence system of growing trees and roots, which keeps manmade sea defence concrete blocks in place. As plants grow inside out from TetraPOT, the roots will intertwine and gradually become a natural sea defence. The shape and placement enables TetraPOTs to interlock with each other and form a structured web. The design not only prevents soil erosion, but also protects and creates a natural habitat. Beyond a defence system, TetraPOT is also an ecosystem and a home for other living things.
To set up this system, begin by arranging these TetraPOTs with mangrove seeds along the coastline. When the sea level goes up, a certain amount of water will be collected in a recessed area inside each TetraPOT. As a tree grows, the organic layers holding up the TetraPOTs will begin to be decompose (it takes about 2 to 3 months), with roots reaching down to the bottom for water. Lastly, the tree roots will emerge and surround TetraPOTs, and after a certain period, the roots will be grabbing land and forming a natural sea defence and a sustainable coastal environment.