A year of controversies over water-related projects like Thomas Heatherwick’s Garden Bridge in London, or Frank Gehry’s LA River master plan in Los Angeles, can paint a fraught portrait of the relationship between design and one of our most precious resources. But in honor of World Water Day, we have rounded up some of the projects that represent the most strategic, innovative, and unexpected intersections of design and H2O that have been featured on ArchDaily.
Architecture and water have a long history of intersection, from the aqueducts engineered by the Romans to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, and the relationship holds new value in an age of climate change coupled with evolving modes of thinking about the relationship between humans and ecology. An ever-broadening understanding of the human need for water—from health and hygiene to recreation and wonder—has ensured that new ways to incorporate this classic element into vanguard designs has flourished. The following projects feature water in a variety of ways, from proximity to bodies of water, to designs literally shaped or formed by their relationship to moisture, to projects that are physically immersed in the liquid, and finally other projects which are only visions of a yet-unbuilt future.