- Water Cathedral Project. GUN Architects, Chile.
The problem posed by the YAP_CONSTRUCTO_2011 initiative – organised by the Chile-based cultural platform, CONSTRUCTO in collaboration with the New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and MoMA PS1 – was to create an outdoor space primarily for public use, to offer relief from the summer heat, paying particular attention to the context and to the use of natural materials.
The GUN firm of architects responded with the Water Cathedral, an outdoor installation in the middle of the city that reveals its active core only when you enter: water drips and flows everywhere from over a thousand fabric prisms hanging from above like stalactites onto concrete “stalagmites” rising up from the ground to provide both seating and water collection.
Rainwater is captured and carried by an irrigation system resting on a metal structure where the prisms are suspended to form a canopy and to filter light. This recreates the typical atmosphere of large cathedrals. The system also keeps the plants in the square watered.
GUN Architects designed Water Cathedral by be a place for locals to come together and interact and meets a wide variety of needs: from a place where young people can play and cool off to a backdrop for cultural events. Of course, the response has been great.
Project: GUN Architects, Jorge Godoy and Lene Nettelbeck, http://www.gunarq.com/
Location: Santiago de Chile
Photos: GUN Architects and Guy Wenbourne, courtesy of CONSTRUCTO
Awards: Winning Entry YAP_CONSTRUCTO_2011