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Rainwater Harvesting in Quito
Of all the phenomenal spaces concocted by Paisajes Emergentes for their entry in the Parque del Lago ideas competition, our favorite one has to be the open-air theater that doubles as a rainwater storage tank.

Paisajes Emergentes


Or is it a water tank that occasionally hosts cultural events, the itinerary being dependent on weather conditions beyond a day's forecasted precipitation? One can't imagine it functional during the wet season or even during the dry season if rain isn't particularly scarce.

Of course, there's a simple solution: build a floating stage. The number of available seats might then determine what sort of program can be scheduled. If mostly empty, a popular band can be booked. If one or two tiers are available, an experimental play. How about a local production of Mary Zimmerman's Metamorphoses or an avant-garde staging of The Odyssey? A micro-naumachia?

Even in its flooded state, however, the space is still occupiable, a point of interest just like any of the artificial lakes and pools in the park.

Surprisingly adaptable, it's a space attuned to the temporal vagaries of climate, the fluctuating rate of water consumption and the cultural preferences of Quito's residents.


Rainwater Harvesting in Al-Andalus
11 COMMENTS —
  • Zanshin
  • November 17, 2008 at 9:58:00 AM CST
  • It's also a great mosquito-breeding pool! :P

    Dirt, oil, and organic matter will also accumulate along the bottom of the tank, making the it awfully icky to sit or walk on when the water level is low.

    This sounds like a bad idea to me.


  • Alexander Trevi
  • November 17, 2008 at 12:36:00 PM CST
  • What makes you think these couldn't be resolved without compromising the entire design?

    Those things don't sound insurmountable to me.


  • Alexander Trevi
  • November 17, 2008 at 1:55:00 PM CST
  • I should have said: on Pruned, no design problem is insurmountable.


  • AO
  • November 17, 2008 at 3:18:00 PM CST
  • It is a very poetic idea. I was also reminded of the mock sea battles thought to have taken place in a flooded Colosseum.


  • EJ
  • November 17, 2008 at 10:26:00 PM CST
  • Mosquitoes with the music, anyone?


  • Black Bear Explorers
  • November 18, 2008 at 5:27:00 AM CST
  • Mosquitoes would not be a problem if Gambusia affinis (mosquito fish) were used. They have even more voracious appetites than the blood-suckers do.

    Also, be careful if all you see is problems, because you are looking past a great design. You may call yourself a realist, but realist rarely make history.


  • MT
  • November 19, 2008 at 8:41:00 AM CST
  • Reminds me of the step well in Amhedabad.


  • Alexander Trevi
  • November 19, 2008 at 9:47:00 PM CST
  • Funny you should mention stepwells. One other reason why I singled out this image is that there's an upcoming post (next week or maybe next year -- I'm working not on blogosphere time but on my own time) on a stepwell in India which may or may not be the one you were reminded of.

    In the meantime, check out this stepwell that I wrote about a couple of years ago: Chand Baori.


  • Cee
  • November 21, 2008 at 9:49:00 AM CST
  • looks really great. beautiful design. i'm sure they would take all environmental factors into consideration before making this project a reality (ie -- mosquitoes -- there really isn't a mosquito problem in quito to begin with).


  • Luis Callejas
  • November 21, 2008 at 2:35:00 PM CST
  • Actually we were thinking in some kind of bacterias for inhibing the propagation of mosquitoes. The idea of the fish is also possible but then you have the problem when the theater is empty. We thought that in case of a massive concert all de dirt acumulated could be removed with high pressure water that obviously won't be wasted (it goes directly to the water treatment plant or biorremediation wetlands), this is something that you have to do periodically in every water tank that is intended for rain water storage.
    As Alexander said, the most importat thing here is the fluctuating state of the weather and the people that uses the park. You can guess that the standart condition of the stage would be about half empty with 4 or five steps were you can sit next to the water. ...a floating stage here would be great


  • Michelle
  • December 9, 2008 at 11:36:00 PM CST
  • mosquitos or not (but it does get chilly in Quito at night sometimes)- this is awesome!


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