Saturday, August 9, 2008

Water Worlds

A range of projects featuring water not just as a theme, but a major design element... very disparate in scale and application, but with that common hydrological thread. For starters, one of the typologies of green roofs, discussed previously on L+U, is the concept of 'blue roofs' - which use water to provide cooling atop building structures. A couple of amazing examples of this follow. First, the whimsical version of this is via Treehugger - of some art installations to creat 'Psycho Buildings' one of which includes a rooftop 'lake' replete with boats:

:: image via Treehugger

Some text via Treehugger: "The outside projects include an outdoor lake, created on top of the roof of the museum (pictured). Visitors can line up to take a little row boat ride in this newly made waterway in the sky, with the London Eye and Houses of Parliament in the distance. The water seems to flow over the side of the building. The floating dock for the odd little boats was made from reclaimed timber and junk-store furniture. The handles of the oars came from legs of old chairs with brass castors."

A more elegant version is the Tanatoria Municipal, by Jordi Badia /Josep Val in León, Spain is a stunning example of perhaps not exactly a 'blue roof' in the traditional sense, but a very cool one nonetheless...

:: images via Arch Daily

From Arch Daily: "A completely buried construction, it eludes its volume and its signification in order to camouflage itself in the interstices of a too-close residential area.A sheet of water by way of a roof constitutes the single facade, reflecting León’s sky like an allegory of death. All that emerges from the water are mysterious fingers in search of light for prayer."

:: images via Arch Daily

A few projects that propose floating architecture, reminiscent of the Dutch and their concept of 'amphibious architecture'... starting with a vision of New Orleans via Inhabitat: "Here’s an approach that endeavors to ride the river rather than stem it’s course. Harvard Graduate School of Design students Kiduck Kim and Christian Stayner have conceived of a Floating City that will “rise safely in an Archimedean liquid landscape.”

:: image via Inhabitat

Next - some literal amphibious development - a water-based development via World Architecture News - Waterkwekerij (Water Nursery) in Alkmaar, Netherlands...

:: images via WAN

A third version, via Inhabitat: "A set of zero-carbon floating buildings has been chosen by RIBA as the winning design for the visitor center at the new Brockholes Wetland and Woodland Nature Reserve in Preston, northern England. Nicknamed ‘A Floating World’... Built on an island of floating pontoons over a former 67-acre gravel pit, visitors are reassured with the guarantee of ‘unlimited flood protection’. The connection they experience with nature is greater through close proximity of the café, shop, gallery, education areas, and meeting rooms to the reeds and wildlife of the surrounding wetland environment."

:: images via Inhabitat

Following up this amphibious theme, is the idea of water walls which captures the concept of defining architectural spaces by streaming water vertically along the building perimeter. Via BDonline, the "...MIT building with walls made entirely of water will go on display ... at the Zaragoza World Expo in northern Spain, the theme of which is water and sustainable development." That's hot - and cool...

:: images via BDonline

Finally, this was much covered - and I have been meaning to feature it for a while, to no avail. So here goes - the History Channel's City of the Future Competition, was the winning entry from Iwamoto Scott Architecture - HydroNet.

:: image via History Channel

An excerpt from their entry statement: "Symbiotic and multi-scalar, SF HYDRO-NET is an occupiable infrastructure that organizes critical flows of the city. HYDRO-NET provides an underground arterial traffic network for hydrogen-fueled hover-cars, while simultaneously collecting, storing and distributing water and power tapped from existing aquifer and geothermal sources beneath San Francisco. A new aquaculture zone with ponds of algae and forests of sinuous housing towers reoccupy Baylands inundated by rising sea levels."

:: images via History Channel

1 comment:

  1. this is great--there are a ton of great projects featured in this post! I really love the water roof in Leon--the 'holes' in the water (I assume they are skylights?) are very beautiful in the way that they treat water like solid matter that can be punctured and extruded.

    I am very interested in the use of water in design as well--especially at an urban scale--and have written about it here. Funnily enough I also called my post 'Water Worlds'.


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