Stephanie Madison of Habitus Living interviews the author about her book “Aqua House, Architecture That Technically and Aesthetically Integrates Water.”
What inspired me to write Aqua House has been current concerns about global water use and increasing pollution in their environment. The book focuses on the relationship between water and architecture. It reexamines its footprint in architecture to determine how existing practices in architecture contribute to the contamination of aquatic environments and what is believed to be an unsustainable use. The book then aims to explore how some of these applications in architecture could be changed in the future to reduce the water problem.
The main idea in the book is how the design of a house can integrate the technical and aesthetic functions of water.
I tried to answer this by designing a building (Aqua House) that works with both the aesthetic and technical functions of Aqua. In addition, the design integrates water and architecture in a way that can contribute to reducing pollution of the aquatic environment. While Aqua House is a small project that focuses on the residential architecture issue, perhaps it can help raise awareness of broader water issues. Lessons learned can perhaps be anticipated for re-examination of other building types and urban environments where a wider range of water issues can be studied.
By following the principles outlined at Aqua Houses, how can consumers integrate water-based solutions into their homes that are both technically efficient and architecturally aesthetically appealing?
The principles outlined in Aqua House are the celebration of rain that is collected, recycled, and cleaned, and regulating the house. An example of how consumers can integrate water-based solutions into their homes is to install a reflecting pool that stores high-quality water in the entrance hall of their home. It will celebrate the triumph of harvested water, as does the sink in the foyer of Villa Savoye, and invite a guest’s journey to clean up. Another example is having a structure made up of a series of water columns. While water columns replace underground water cisterns or solid water tanks used in other sustainable houses, they are also used to meet the water needs while providing a visual evaluation of the stored water and knowing the amount.
What do you anticipate consumers will want in terms of water-based architectural spaces in the future, please explain? Why do consumers have access to these areas/design elements, etc.? Do you think you will withdraw?
I imagine consumers wanting water-based architectural spaces to experience various states and transformations, their distinctive tastes, sounds and smells. The beauty of water is in its fluidity, transparency and reflectivity. For example, water has symbolic meanings: according to Chinese Feng Shui it represents good chi and in Christianity it means cleanliness. People are naturally drawn to water for its aesthetic qualities, and musicians often celebrate it in their work. Schubert’s Water Songs, Deep Purple’s Smoke on the Water, Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge over Troubled Water, Lady in the Water, The Wild River, Water Lilies are some examples of water-inspired music and movies. Paintings by artists such as Hockney, Dali, Picasso, Monet, Escher, English all depict the beauty of water.
I think consumers will be drawn to and celebrate integrated design solutions knowing that they send 0.0 liters of wastewater and 0.0 liters of rainwater into rivers and oceans each year.