Shed 8841. Architecture to the advantage of water.

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Shed 8841. Architecture to the advantage of water.
Ben Lepley, founder of American firm, Tectonicus Constructs llc., built a water tower to harvest this valuable natural resource in the very arid zone of Arizona. The resulting iconic building is in perfect harmony with the extreme weather conditions of the territory.

Young American architect, Ben Lepley, together with his brother, designed and built a water tower using an old plastic tank. This grey water treatment system is a real machine that collects, stores, pressurises and saves over 37 thousand litres of water a year.

He based the design of the shed housing the installations and also used as a workshop and laundry, on the industrial sheds and factory buildings, that he had seen when travelling in India while he was working with Studio Mumbai Architects.

The facades of these buildings – located in zones with a similar climate to Arizona – were made from corrugated steel louvers that allow for natural ventilation and that keep the interior temperature acceptable without the need for air-conditioning. They also allow diffused light to enter, at the same time guaranteeing privacy.

These steel panels are painted white on the inside, and on the outside they were treated with a specially prepared solution composed of white vinegar, peroxide and salt to create a patina effect and protect them from the weather; depending on their exposure to the weather, the patina of these panels creates a very interesting pattern of orange and maroon horizontal stripes.

Reclaimed materials were used for the construction: from the water-tank, to the timber for the structure and the steel roofing. A truly D-I-Y project, adopting sustainable design solutions and whose purpose is to harvest rainwater and grey water to save the water table, such a precious resource in the Arizona desert zone.

Project: Ben Lepley, Tectonicus Constructs llc., www.tectonicus.com
Location: Arizona, USA
Year: 2010
Photos: © Ben Lepley