Watertower / Hugon Kowalski

Hugon Kowalski, from Poland-based H3AR, shared with us his watertower skyscraper for . More images and architect’s description after the break.

It’s been 50 years since UN Declaration about the independence of African nations which was the end of the colonization and exploitation of the third world countries. Year 1960 was called Year of Africa.

The conflict over water and land in Sudan has created political unrest for decades. However, in 2007, scientists from Boston University discovered an underground lake in the region of Darfur, Sudan. This lake is tenth biggest lake in the world (31, 000 m2) and would have great potential in resolving the conflict if managed correctly.

Addressing this water issue, polish firm H3AR architect and design recently proposed a building that allows access to underground waters through the application of water pumps. The form of the building was inspired by a water tower and also by the symbol of the african savanna – the baobab. The building houses water pumps, a treatment plant but also a hospital, a school and a food storage center. This building is meant to provoke economical development but also stimulate cultural exchange and the coexistence of the three different religions and languages in Sudan.

The building walls are constructed using compressed dry stacked clay bricks, made on site using a rough mixture of earth, cement and water. The bricks would be baked in the hot sun, thus, requiring no extra energy and limiting the environmental impact of the materials. The choice of using this technology represents the desire to introduce alternative and sustainable technologies within a context that is tied to stardardized though not always optimal building practice.

Two water circulation processes would be in place. First set of extracted water is meant to heat or cool the building, and is accessible to the users. Second, set of extracted water is used for the building itself (i.e. kitchen, toilets).

Cite: Jordana, Sebastian. "Watertower / Hugon Kowalski" 15 Mar 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 Apr 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=52910>

17 comments

  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    mmmmm nothing better than the smell of charred mdf fresh out of the laser cutter. nice project, aesthetically? not so much.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    this is good, not an artificial introduction of tall structures, but creating centres of monumentality as well as social change . and that’s should do good architecture

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    never seen anything like it..i think this has potential…great work.. something out of the LUXURY bubble and into the SHELTER and a NEED scheme..

    well done!! Keep it up! Zajebisty projekt!

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    The description does not explain much in the way this is supoposed to work… or is it only a romantic vision?

    The towers are pictured in a perfectly flat landscape…is a water tower of this height neccessary? This is an important question, because it leads straight to a second one: why should one build so high anywhere except of big cities?

    The water towers capacity is huge! How far is the water supposed to flow through the waterworks? Is building a wide-reaching water-works network a viable strategy to supply water to small settlements?

    How are the pumps going to be powered? It will require a lot of energy.

    Overhanging wall made of sun-dried brincks on the 15th floor?(I guess that it rests on a steel structure or something, but even as an infill- is it likely to work?)

  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I found the project very nice, water towers in semi-arid areas have a look like in “Dune”, and this project has a kind of cool hi-tech impact on the landscape, a bit like windmills… Specially when grouped, like on the images, with the lake inside. Those spots could really induct many things in the development of those arid areas.
    But I have some doubts about the “sustainable” structure… Usually those water towers have full concrete shells, and I am not sure the “crown”, with its thin concrete rings, can work that way, supporting floors and everything. Also the non-baked bricks behave well in dry, sun-exposed and structurally simple conditions, but here I think they would suffer a lot from moist (from the lake) and non-compression forces (in the crown).

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    nicely thought project. but yes it needs more research on the material application. having worked with mud bricks it would never be able to take that curvature and cantilever without some other intervention. good start though!!!

  7. Thumb up Thumb down -1

    Dariusz, you have never seen a water tower? Wow, you amaze me!
    Water tower in a shape of mushroom build from bricks? Good joke! :)

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