Teatro del Agua
Thursday, June 28, 2007
In the ad-laden documentary Building the Future: The Quest for Water, produced by and broadcast last week on the Discover Channel, there was a featured segment on the Teatro del Agua, or Water Theater.
It's a desalination plant of sorts, designed by Grimshaw in collaboration with Charlie Paton for the post-industrial port area of Las Palmas in Spain's Canary Islands.
How does it work? According to Grimshaw: “The essence of the idea is to couple a series of evaporators and condensers such that the airborne moisture from the evaporators is then collected from the condensers, which are cooled by deep seawater. This produces large quantities of distilled water from seawater and is almost entirely driven by renewable energy. The structure is orientated perpendicular to the prevailing northeasterly wind to obtain a supply of ambient air. The flow rate is controlled by louvres on the leeward side, which also incorporates solar panels to provide heat for the evaporators.”
If you have a distaste for textual descriptions and rather watch an animation, simply head on over to here. It's the third one on the list.
Disappointingly both video and project statement do not give estimates on water production. Will it really provide, as the video says, “enough for a city”? At all times or only during particularly high humid and windy days?
We also hear from the video that it “needs no fuel.” Is it really self-evaporating and self-condensing? No fossil fuel is needed?
The very curious really want to know.
Quoting a bit more of the project statement: “The intention is to exploit the natural resources of the island, focusing on its two unique geographic features: steep beaches meaning that the cold water of the deep ocean is close to hand and can be siphoned off for air conditioning, and a steady wind direction that can be harnessed for the production of fresh water. The result should be the world's first harbourside development that is entirely cooled and irrigated by natural means.”
And here we are left to wonder why this “dramatic sculptural form” is relegated to a corner of the marina when it should invade the whole island, bifurcating up to the mountains, snaking out to sea, invading the entire archipelago and nearby Africa, recoiling, perambulant, up and down the Atlantic coast of the parched continent, crossing the Sahara towards the Middle East, saving all from the devastation of the Global Hydrological War.
Fog Water Project