The waterwall is a façade system that transforms collected rainwater into potable water whilst creating a highly effiecient insulating system, through utilising the high thermal inertia proprieties of water. Starting from the feeling of being surrounded by water and imagining the wonderful effect of the reflection of light in it, the concept of a transparent envelope that guarantees high performance thermal insulation was developed.
The façade system was part of a proposal for a contest to design the new headquarters for a water company. The south façade is mostly constituted of water stored in Pet (also a renowned highly recyclable material) tanks. The structural system of the building affords large spaces uninterrupted by primary structural elements thus providing flexible areas of open floor space and integrates in single solution installations that utilise S.O.D.I.S. solar water disinfection.
Collected rainwater is purified through the SODIS solar water disinfection principle. During the disinfection process the water, stored in PET tanks, provides a very high thermal inertia with its mass achieving an excellent insulation level for the building. PET tanks let the ultraviolet light pass through them allowing water disinfection whilst an inner polycarbonate transparent panel blocks and reflects UVA and UVB radiations to enhance the amount of rays in the tank and to prevent them from reaching the interior. The weight of water is held by steel truss circular members that are assembled to form a thick wall mostly made out of water. The circular shape of the single elements enables the precise flow of the water intake and outtake according to the configuration of the whole façade.
idea for a façade system