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The Embassy of Water


A modular water harvesting system

Aquatecture Detail — © Angeline Swinkels

68% of the world’s population is projected to live in cities by 2050 ( As a result, urban water needs will increase, placing paramount pressure on water systems. The question of how to manage our water differently led designer Shaakira Jassat to enrich urban architecture with Aquatecture.

The Aquatecture System

Aquatecture is a compact and modular water harvesting system designed to collect falling rainwater in the urban environment. It can be installed as a façade panel on buildings making water harvesting an integrated building feature. It can also be used as free standing elements in landscapes, providing water-harvesting stations at various nodes throughout cities. Aquatecture encourages a more convenient and closer engagement between people and their daily water resources.

How does it work?

This panel is designed to harvest water. Due to the vertical position of the panels, the rain water that drips over the open structure is collected and transported to a storage tank. This water can be pumped back into a building’s grey water system. Treated greywater can be reused for garden watering, irrigation, toilet flushing or laundry washing. Ultimately the goal is to create potable water from the harvest and allow buildings to become independent water nodes in the cityscape.

Growth Opportunities

The project seeks to work with municipalities and governments in order to combine efforts to overcome urban water management challenges of today and the future. Aquatecture is applicable worldwide and the next steps are to develop and scale up the water vapour harvesting technology so that the panels can be more impactful in for example, Asia or desert countries. Aquatecture Compact Rain Harvesting System is currently being piloted at full scale in South Africa and the Netherlands. The project is searching for partners in business development as well as individuals or organisations who are willing to contribute through development finances, investment or donations to ensure consistent and thorough product development and eventually production and application.

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About Shaakira Jassat

Shaakira Jassat is a designer and founder of Studio Sway. She is fascinated by the fragile nature of our relationship with the more-than-human world and researches by being on and off the field, extending to multidisciplinary methods. She focuses on food, ecology, architecture and society.

Aquatecture Full Scale Pilot Cape Town — © Yazeed Hothey

Aquatecture Full Scale Pilot Eindhoven — © Angeline Behr