Type : concours
Maîtrise d’ouvrage : LAGI
Localisation : Santa Monica, CA
Programme : Structure de récupération d’eau
Equipe: Valentin Kunik, Guillaume de Morsier, Angélique Kuenzle
We define “climatic territory” as a territory characterized by climatic parameters like temperature and humidity rather than by topography,geology or buildings.
The Santa Monica shore is influenced by the creation of an advection fog above the sea. It is known as the marine atmospheric boundary layer (MABL). The MABL is generally defined as a layer or cool, moist maritime air with the thickness of a few thousand feet immediately below a temperature inversion.
In the Mediterranean climate of the Los Angeles basin conditions favorable for the formation of a MABL inversion can occur during any month of the year, but are most common during the summer or “dry” season that runs from May through the middle of October. Natives of the area (“The Southland”) use the terms “May Grey” and “June Gloom” to describe the frequent cool, damp, overcast days during this calendar period. theweatherprediction.com
The local climate is a clue to creating site specific infrastructure that interact rather than confront territory. A strong understanding of the climatic territory helps us shaping infrastructure that support urban life and activities.
Air as a thick layer
Water contained in the air is invisible to the human eye, in contrast to its liquid or solid forms. The Ocean is a solid mass of water as air is a vaporous mass of water.
When fog is created, the mass of water contained in the air turns visible. The invisible space surrounding us gets an intelligible form. Space is no longer perceived as an empty void but as a lightweight mass, with specific physical, chemical and electromagnetic properties, in which we live. Therefore, we need specific instruments to search for water in the air.
All the water that fog contains can be harvested. It is possible with lean/low technologies to collect that water transport it to the coast and use it as drinkable water or as industrial water for the leisure activities of the coast.
The nets are made from a polypropylene mesh that is extremely efficient at collecting water droplets. Our structure is a soft infrastructure. It is lightweight, it can grow or shrink, and it can be easily adapted or can be totally removed without leaving any trace. It’s integrated in the ecosystem. It works with the territory rather than against and is thus site specific. It works 365 days a year without added energy and is CO2 neutral. Yet it responds to the most important thing on Earth: providing potable water.