• Conversing with Water

    Conversing with Water

    Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL
    MArch Unit 20
    critics: Marcos CRUZ & Marjan COLLETTI

    suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.

    Rui LIU (L-U-D studio): Rapid urbanisation throughout fast growing countries, such as Brazil, India or China, has resulted in a neglect of integrated-design of how we utilize water. In an increasingly urban world, it is important to step back and review that the built environment is truly in need of engaging with the specific requirements of water management at a local scale.

    The research project, UN Environmental Conference Centre for Latin America is located in Rio De Janeiro. The trajectory of design evolved from Brazil being one of the most dramatic cities in the world, an array of cultural diversity, economical potentials, and social identifications.

    Social Meaning – As the public’s Conference Centre
    Recycled water, both metaphorically and functionally, could be used to give a material meaning to represent the challenges of the developing country’s political transparencies. Through the series of conditional spatiality as governed by water construction and dissipation, a transformable conference centre is modified to serve different functional requirements – meeting spaces, cultural performance platforms and private conferences can provide an alternative option to Oscar Niemeyer’s ‘White Wall Global Container’.

    Environmental Meaning – As an Urban Flooding Prevention System
    Considering the integration of daily grey water management and urban flooding within the land systems of central Rio de Janeiro’s urban area; the proposal serves as not only an amalgamated mechanical coordinated design but a systematic organisation of these pathways can be used as animated architectural tools, where spaces are created and dissipated through the recycling of water. This project follows the research of organic management systems where the development of biomaterial as a catalyst for the undertaking of flood water, whilst, at the same time acts as a stimulus for the re-engineering of the water management systems throughout different pedestrian zoning. The proposal is developed through research into alternative flow control and filtration of water, taking the biomaterial as stigma for a continuously changing landscape due to its natural bio-degradable lifespan. The structure and basic formal organisation of the building is regulated by the water management systems, developed through a series of water flow simulations.

    Technic of Fluid Simu-tectonic & Bio-material
    The technic of CNC milling has informed the optimum flow of water in desired directions to designated channels in order to begin the cleaning process. The premise is taken as an opportunity to develop a parallel and a new type of architectural interface between architecture and water. A fungus-fabric based bio-material, is used as an grey water filtering material. The merging of material’s bio-degradable properties with newest CNC milling technology could form the dramatic water-landscaping which is suitable within the Rio de Janeiro’s humid context.

    sP: What or who influenced this project?
    RL: Marcos Cruz, Marjan Colletti, Tina Qiu(MA RCA), Coop Himmelblau, Plasma Studio, Wilkinson Eyre Architects, Gary Grant , University College London’s science library, Many of other friends who also graduated from the Bartlett (or still in Bartlett) and AA, Without them, I can never realize the design creativity I could have.

    sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
    RL: Reading several books and magazines: Nanotechnology 2008: Life Sciences, Medicine, and Bio Materials; The Representation of Space; Atmospheres: Architectural Environments, Surrounding Objects; Environmental Psychology. Listening to Art Brut, Hanggai Band, Beyond. Watching lots of classic Sci-fi films like Waterworld, The Matrix.

    sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
    RL: Wilkinson Eyre Architects, Coop Himmelblau, Peter Zumthor.

    Additional credits and links:
    [L-U-D Studio Design Blog]

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