Symbiotic Infrastructure

Symbiotic Infrastructure is a working landscape where people can engage with the water process. This project reacts to the existing model for urban living where the production, treatment, and distribution of water is separate from daily life. The separation is often because of great distance, for the water footprint of cities extends over a large area. 

Symbiotic Infrastructure proposes a new model for urban living, where the interaction with water is more direct. Landform, vegetation, and buildings work together to collect, convey, and treat water. On a daily basis, at a human scale, the water infrastructure is revealed. Link to full article here.

Collaborative effort: Aiysha Alsane (MLA '19), Danica Liongson (MLA '20), Yifan Wang (MLA '20)

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Symbiotic Infrastructure reacts to the existing model for urban living where the production, treatment, and distribution of water are separate from daily life. This project relies on landscape as a starting point to reveal water infrastructure in our living environments.

In the existing model for urban living, production, treatment, and distribution of water is separate from daily life. This means the water footprint of cities extends over a large area, beyond “city limits.” Symbiotic Infrastructure consolidates these separate layers: landscape, people, and water infrastructure (treatment and return) to form a symbiotic, productive city.

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Productive landscape

Freshwater pools collect water from rain, snowfall, and surface runoff. Program possibilities build on the ideas of performance and production. Buildings act as aqueducts, conveying water to treatment channels where processes like water aeration are at work.

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Layering of water

Once the water is used, wastewater is collected in underground tanks for initial treatment, conveyed through constructed wetlands, and eventually arrives at the shore to mix with seawater as the tides rise and fall. Our water footprint is no longer an abstracted idea; instead, on a daily basis and at a human scale, our water infrastructure is revealed.