Capture the Rain / H3AR

The duo of and Agnieszka Nowak, of H3AR, was awarded a special mention for their proposal in the 2010 eVolo skyscraper competition (see the winners on our previous article).  The eVolo competition attracts innovative designers and receives hundreds of eccentric proposals.  For this project, designed by 4th year student, the skyscraper is comprised of a system of gutters to catch as much rainfall as possible.  The water captured and processed by the building may be used for flushing toilets, feeding washing machines, watering plants, cleaning floors and other domestic applications.

More about the skyscrapper after the break.

The water collected with the skyscraper will supply 85 liters of rain water to meet the daily needs of the inhabitants (each user averages a daily consumption of about 150 liters).

Initially, in designing the tower, the students focused on shaping and modeling the surface of the roof to optimize the rainwater collected.  Yet upon working with the roof system, the students developed the skin treatment to make the building transform into a cohesive raincollecting machine.

Under the roof’s surface, water reservoirs in the form of a large funnel and reed fields, serve as a hydro botanic water treatment unit.   The unit processes water into usable water that is further transmitted to apartments. 

The gutters on the external surfaces of the building, capture rainfall flowing down the building.  The rainfall is then transmitted to floors and its surplus is stored in a reservoir under the building. ­­­­

As seen on designboom.

Cite: Cilento, Karen. "Capture the Rain / H3AR" 12 Mar 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 Sep 2014. <>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    If the main point of the project is water catchment why does it need to be a skyscraper? There are so many other pertinent issues when dealing with a building that size.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I think is a very good design concept. I certainly believe such can be a residential building and the water catchment is a very good alternative for water consumption.
    I just hope the facade concept will capture rain water as the design shows.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Great concept and i like the form. However, storing the water in a basin at the bottom of the tower will require a lot of additional energy to pump it back to up for use on higher floors. Retaining it closer to the top (as it looks like may be the case for the water in the catchment on the roof) will allow for gravity to do the work. Still, a great project.

    Also, the diagram using the model is fantastic. Though I’m not sure it is really telling me anything, the idea is very cool.

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I wonder how the core works? and how much this funnel eats into critical functions and the leasable vs net square footage? That is as important as anything to make these ideas actually buildable / feasible. I applaud the exploration and the ideas at work.

  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    why didn’t this one win? it beats the pants off the others in terms of concept, visuals, legibility, forward-thinking, stimulation of debate…you name it.

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      I find it pretty shallow conceptually. While water is an important issue for all countries, it’s not really exploring a new idea or frankly anything very innovative. It’s improving upon an existing system at a large scale while ignoring all the other aspects of their project which is probably why it didn’t win.

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    The description and diagrams suggest that the diameter of this building is almost 80 m. It’s a hell of a building!

  7. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Why did the judges give this one an honourable mention? Because they felt bad that they did not give it the 1st prize! It is much more relevant issue taken on in this design proposal, and the form of the building is visually great! Bad on eVolo and their judges.

  8. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    this is just a copy of a shape zaha hadid’s “lilum tower” to be bulit in warsaw..

  9. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I don’t think that is a copy of Zaha Hadid’s Lilium Tower shape. In this way can also say, that every buildings based on prism is a copy of other buiilding based on the same. The concept of Zaha Hadid is a bit different from this one I think. Besides in H3AR concept the shape result from function.

  10. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    i think it is an origin … with a bad skin, and why we always concerned by putting an extra idea (just like selling offers) to strengthen our concepts,… its fine without any “rain catchment”

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