Editors’s Choice
2018 Skyscraper Competition

Christopher Pin, Timothy Lai
Canada

“Though technological processes are intrinsic when discussing a strategy for urban water sustainability, it will play a minor factor in the overall design.  Lotus seeks to strengthen public awareness of the fragility of Urban Fresh Water.”

THE PROBLEM
Rising global population, mass fringe migration to urban cores, and rising tides are just a few reasons that heavily indicate a heightened concern surrounding Urban Water Security for the future megacities.  Water pollution and supply deficit are issues that will require a solution that is both sustainable and iterative.  As cities continue to trend towards Megacities, strategies to mitigate fresh water scarcity will be at the forefront of the urban dialogue.  While focus on current technology is important, developing new means of dealing with water depletion is crucial for urban health.

China: A Nation Prone to Fresh Water Crisis
Currently, due to increasing urbanization, the municipal water demand in cities of China are projected to grow 70% in 2030 (Wang et al., 2017).  Though China’s need for renewable freshwater continues to escalate, availability is barely one-third of the world’s average.  Shanghai falls amongst China’s 36 worst cities regarding water quality (Zhen et al., 2017), and between 2010-2012 it was reported by the cities water census that 3% of local surface water was clean for fish farms or household use.  Shanghai exemplifies the battle China is fighting from one mega city to the next, and can be utilized as a case study for the proposed socio-political strategy surrounding water sustainability.

THE SOLUTION
Lotus intends to provide a unique dialogue surrounding water sustainability, approaching urban fresh-water as a communal urban focus.  Lotus is an architectural monument that cultivates onus and stewardship regarding the cities freshwater, while emphasizing water experientially to increase quality of life in the urban core.  Though technological processes are intrinsic when discussing a strategy for urban water sustainability, it will play a minor factor in the overall design.  Lotus seeks to strengthen public awareness of the fragility of Urban Fresh Water.

Redefining The Role of the Water Tower
Lotus proposes a redefinition of the role of a water tower in the city.  The design implores a transition from a purely utilitarian structure, to a socio-political catalyst, bringing risk awareness surrounding urban water quality to the public.  The strategy looks to increase governmental transparency, monumentally showcasing the cities effort to maintain fresh-water supply.  The technology for renewable fresh water is already available.  Looking towards the future, there is a need to create a paradigm shift surrounding the public perception on the water quality in the city.

STRATEGIES:

Holding the Government Accountable
To provide a visual indication of government’s efforts, the architectural form will reflect the current state of fresh-water supply in the city.   dynamic fins that wrap around the water tower increase in the degree of opening based on the improvement of water quality in the city.  Fresh-water quantity and quality will be the two driving factors that correlate with the overall form the building takes on.

Redefining the Water Tower as Megacity Focal Point
Rather than simply acting as a basin for water storage and supply, Lotus integrates communal experiences throughout the tower, and creates a platform for research iteration.  In this way Lotus cultivates an iterative dialogue between the urban community and it’s interaction with water.

Experiential Emphasis of Water
As the fresh-water sustainability in the city strengthens, the building opens up to the public.  Lotus uses water to create an oasis of respite that curates a series of experiences for the city population, incentivizing a continual effort to maintain strong urban fresh-water security.

Works Cited:

Shanghai Water Authority. (2012), BULLETIN OF FIRST WATER CENSUS AND
SECOND WATER RESOURCE CENSUS OF SHANGHAI, China Census For Water, 1-25

Wang, T., Liu, S., Qian, X., Shimizu, T., Dente, S. M., Hashimoto, S., & Nakajima, J. (2017). Assessment of the municipal water cycle in China. Science of The Total Environment, 607, 761-770.

Zhen, N., Barnett, J., & Webber, M. (2017). The Dynamics of Trust in the Shanghai Water Supply Regime. Environmental management, 1-12.

 

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