Artists at the Netherlands Pavilion, Culture|

Shaakira Jassat has always been fascinated by water as a material in her projects. However, her interest towards water shifted focus since the recent drought in her native country, South Africa. This unexpected climate change inspired Jassat to rethink how we manage and experience water in our urban environment. Jassat’s background in the architectural field provided the foundation for Aquatecture, a panel designed to harvest water. It can be installed as a façade panel on buildings making water harvesting an integrated building feature. Or it can be used to create free standing elements in landscapes, creating water harvesting stations in various nodes throughout cities.

Whilst traditional architecture requires water to be kept out and away from a building, Jassat envisioned buildings that could harvest and sustain their own water needs. Aquatecture is designed to collect falling rainwater as it trickles over the open punctures of the panel. The water that is collected is transported down to a collection tank and pumped back into the building’s grey water system. Hereby, a traditional practice like water harvesting acquires a compact fit into the urban aesthetic.

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