DEARTH & DELUGE
I would like to dedicate this book to my grandfather Curtis Monroe “Cotton” Colley. I hope I’ve made you proud.
I love you and miss you very much.
DEARTH & DELUGE A LESSON OF WATER HARVESTING IN EXTREME CLIMATE HABITATIONS
A TERMINAL MASTER’S PROJECT SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF ARCHITECTURE SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE AND COMMUNITY DESIGN
COLLEGE OF VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA
MASTER’S PROJECT CHAIR
NANCY SANDERS M. ARCH
MASTER’S PROJECT COMMITTEE
MARTIN GUNDERSON M. ARCH DARYL CROI M. ARCH
This book is arranged like a travel journal through a process. It is not entirely in chronological order. I participated in the School of Architecture and Community Designâ€™s inaugural Studio X class and while it is not directly related to this project in program or context, I decided to include some of the work. The foundational influence of the Studio X course in the direction of my Masterâ€™s Project could not be disregarded. The works presented became the inspiration of this research and are included where relevant, to elaborate on my philosophical perspective. The story begins with a critical awareness of the global water predicament, a subject that is devastating to the lives of so many people yet seems on the minds of so few. Unfortunately, this project cannot offer a solution to this epidemic; it can only reference an architectural strategy. For me, this project offered an opportunity to explore the culture of a land and people I admire, while confronting an issue I am passionate about. The decision to choose India as my site emerged as I explored the habitations of extremes. The narratives of these extremes are explained in order of discovery and investigation as lessons of abundance and exiguity.
FORMAT & CONTENTS
LIST OF PHOTO & IMAGE CREDITS
PART ONE ~ THE DELUGE SITE INTRODUCTION
10 - 13
SITE ANALYSIS DESIGN PARAMETERS
14 - 15 16 - 17
CONCEPTS & METHODOLOGIES
18 - 19
20 - 25
PART TWO ~ THE DEARTH SITE INFORMATION
28 - 29
ANALYSIS & PRECEDENT STUDIES
30 - 35
CONCEPTS & METHODOLOGIES
38 - 39
40 - 43
44 - 65
ANALYSIS SUMMARY CONCLUSION NOTES BIBLIOGRAPHY APPENDIX
66 67 68 69 70 - 89
IMAGE 0.1- This watercolor is part of a series, completed during the first Design X Studio, for the Primordial line project. PG VII
LIST OF PHOTO & IMAGE CREDIT PG III
Image 0.1: Parti Watercolor Applewhite, Chablis. Image. Studio X Fall 2010 Photo 1.0: “Earth Fall into Water” (NA) Freegreatdesign. “high resolution images of the earth fall into water”. Photo. freegreat design.com. 17 June 2011. 15 March 2012 < http://www.freegreatdesign.com/files/ images/6/2527-high-resolution-images-of-the-earth-fall-into-the-water-1.jpg>. Photo 1.1: “Seven Sister’s Fall” Ppyoonus. “Seven Sisters Water Falls Mawsmai Cherrapunjee, Meghalaya, India”. Photo. Wikipedia 30 August 2010. 12 December 2011 < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Seven_ Sisters_Water_Falls_Mawsmai_Cherrapunjee_513.JPG>. Image 1.0: “Rainwater Harvesting Stamp” Vrajesh. “Rainwater Harvesting Stamp”. Image. Blogger.com. 7 March 2010. 17 March 2012 <http://greatindianstamps.blogspot.com/search/label/RAIN%20WATER%20HARVEST ING>. Photo 1.2: “Eco-Park Cherrapunji, India” Bardoloi, Sukumar. “Eco Park”. Photo. Panoramio 9 August 2011. 12 October 2011 <http:// www.panoramio.com/photo/57085984>. Photo: 1.3: “Thar Desert near Khuri Village” Atarax. “On the Dunes of Khuri”. Photo. Panoramio 28 October 2008. 21 March 2012 <http:// www.panoramio.com/photo/15440201>. Image 2.0: “Slow Sand Filter Diagram” Applewhite, Chablis. Photoshop Image. March 2012. Image 3.0: “Diagram of a Water Drop” Applewhite, Chablis. Hand Drawing. Studio X 2011 Photo 3.0: “View from Eco Park” Bardoloi, Sukumar. “Eco Park”. Photo. Panoramio 9 August 2011. 12 October 2011 < http:// www.panoramio.com/photo/57085969>. Photo 3.1: “Cherrapunjee Sign” Semwal, Mahesh. “Cherrapunjee – Wettest place in the world”. ghumakkar.com 14 October 2009. 12 October 2011 < http://www.ghumakkar.com/2009/10/14/cherrapunjee-wettestplace-in-the-world/>. Photo 3.2: “Living Bridge (close-up Rubber Fig Tree)” Winterstein, Michael. “root bridge at cherrapunjee”. Photo. quirksand.net August 2007. 13October 2011 < http://www.quirksand.net/images/9t.jpg>. Photo 3.3: “Khasis War Tribe Youth” Allen, Timothy. “Khasis Youth”. humanplanet.com 30 November 2006. 13 October 2011 < http://humanplanet.com/timothyallen/2011/03/living-root-bridges-bbc-human-planet/>. Photo 3.4: “Living Bridge and Youth” Rex Features. “Nature’s incredible engineering”. Photo. dailymail.co.uk 10 September 2011. 13 October 2011 < 10 September 2011>. Image 4.0: “Southwest Asian Monsoon” Charles L. Smart, Charles L. “Observing the Earth”Kean University. PDF Web. <http:// www.kean.edu/~csmart/Observing/10.%20Earths%20climate%20system.pdf>. December 2011 Image 4.1: “Cheo-ozihi” Applewhite, Chablis. Hand Drawing. March 2012 Original Image armaker, Malay. “Bamboo Drip Irrigation.” Dying Wisdom New Delhi: Brisk Process, 1997. 66. Photo 3.5: “Swollen Hillside” Nagharaaj. “Cherrapunjee”. indiaroot.com Date N.A. 13 October 2011 < http:// www.indiaroot.com/knowindia/meghalaya/Cherrapunji.asp>. Image 4.2: “Zabo System” Applewhite, Chablis. Hand Drawing. March 2012 Original Image Ninan, Ajit. “Zabo”. Drawing. Rainwaterharvesting.org Publish date N.A. 12 October 2011 <http://www.rainwaterharvesting.org/Rural/nehr_tradi.htm>. Image 4.3: “Zabo Concept Sketch” Applewhite, Chablis. Ink Drawing. Studio X 2011. Image 4.4: “Water Catchment” Applewhite, Chablis. Ink Drawing. Studio X 2011. Image 4.5: “Water Catchment” Applewhite, Chablis. Ink Drawing. Studio X 2011. Image 4.6: “Primordial Line Parti” Applewhite, Chablis. Watercolor. Studio X Fall 2010. Image 4.7: “Flow” Applewhite, Chablis. Ink Drawing. Studio X 2011.
Image 4.8: “Rubber Fig Tree Roots” Applewhite, Chablis. Charcoal Drawing. Studio X 2011. Image 4.9: “ArcadUm Predecessor” Applewhite, Chablis. Graphite on Trace. Studio X Fall 2010. Image 4.10: “ArcadUm Study Model” Applewhite, Chablis. Cardboard. Studio X 2011. Image 4.11: “Found Object Model” Applewhite, Chablis. Driftwood and paper. Studio X 2011. Image 4.12: “Cardboard Site Construct” Applewhite, Chablis. Cardboard. Studio X 2011. Image 4.13: “Cardboard Site Construct” Applewhite, Chablis. Cardboard. Studio X 2011. Image 4.14: “ArcadUm Reservoir” Applewhite, Chablis. Ink and Charcoal. Studio X 2011. Image 4.15: “ArcadUm Collection Modual” Applewhite, Chablis. Ink and Charcoal. Studio X 2011. Image 4.16: “Arcad-Um Stages of the Monsoon” Applewhite, Chablis. Ink and Watercolor. Studio X 2011. Image 4.17: “Shapeless” Applewhite, Chablis. Ink and Watercolor. Studio X 2011. Image 4.18: “Limitless” Applewhite, Chablis. Ink and Watercolor. Studio X 2011. Image 4.19: “Diminution” Applewhite, Chablis. Ink and Watercolor. Studio X 2011. Image 4.20: “X-ray of a Small Animal Skull” Applewhite, Chablis. X-ray. Studio X 2011. Images 4.21: “Analysis of Skull Construction” Applewhite, Chablis. Graphite on Trace. Studio X 2011. Images 4.22: “Analysis of Skull Construction” Applewhite, Chablis. Graphite on Trace. Studio X 2011. Images 4.23: “Conceptual ArcadUm Rendering” Applewhite, Chablis. Photoshop. Studio X 2011. Images 4.24: “Conceptual ArcadUm Rendering” Applewhite, Chablis. Photoshop. Studio X 2011. Image 4.25: “ArcadUm Detail” Applewhite, Chablis. Photo. Studio X 2011. Image 4.26: “ArcadUm Collection Module” Applewhite, Chablis. Graphite on Trace. Studio X 2011. Image 4.27: “Flexible ArcadUm Structure” Applewhite, Chablis. Wood and Acrylic. Studio X 2011. Photo 5.0: “Vibrant Colors of Desert Sunset” Bankavatrs. “Vibrant Colors of Desert Sunset”. Photo. Panoramio 5 January 2012. 3 March 2012 <http://www.panoramio.com/photo/64439239>. Photo 5.1: “Boys jumping in the Ganga Stepped Pond at Dedadara, Gujarat” Livingston, Morna. “Boys jumping in the Ganga Stepped Pond at Dedadara, Gujarat” Steps to Water: The Ancient Stepwells of India. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2002. 16. Photo 5.2: “Rudabai’s vav, Adalaj, Gujarat” Patel, Samir S. “Rudabai’s vav, Adalaj, Gujarat”. Photo. archaeology.org 13 April 2011. 11 January 2012 < http://www.archaeology.org/1105/web/india_slideshow.html>. Photo 5.3: “Rajon ki Baoli’s baoli” Kapur, Varun Shiv. Rajon ki Baoli’s baoli”. Photo. wikipedia.org 19 June 2009. 12 January 2012 < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Rajon_ki_Baoli%27s_baoli.jpg>. Photo 5.4: “Nimrana Stepwell, Rajasthan” Livingston, Morna. “Nimrana Stepwell, Rajasthan” Steps to Water: The Ancient Stepwells of India. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2002. 102. Photo 5.5: “Hadi Rani Well, Toda Raisingh, Rajasthan” Livingston, Morna. “Hadi Rani Well, Toda Raisingh, Rajasthan” Steps to Water: The Ancient Stepwells of India. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2002. 11. Photo 5.6: “Agersen ki baoli” Sethi, Supreet. “Agersen ki baoli”. Photo. wikipedia.org 27 January 2007. 12 January 2012 < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Agersen_ki_baoli.jpg>. Photo 5.7: “Women Digging Khadin” Author N.A.“Shramdan by community for combating drought”. Photo. gravis.org 15 August 2007. 21 February 2012 < http://www.gravis.org.in/en/Drought%20Relief/Shramdan%20 by%20community%20for%20combating%20drought.JPG>. Photo 5.8: “Kundis of Rajasthan” Agarwal, Anil. “Kundis of Rajasthan”. Dying Wisdom. New Delhi: Brisk Process, 1997.v.
Photo 5.9: “Virdas” Pangare, Ganesh. “Virdas”. Dying Wisdom. New Delhi: Brisk Process, 1997.viii. Photo 5.10: “Virda” Dave, Amit. “Virda”. Photo. msn.com 12 May 2011. 2 April 2012 < http://photoblog.msnbc. msn.com/_news/2011/05/19/6673624-india-struggles-to-perfect-art-of-monsoonforecasting?lite>. Image 5.0: Image 5.1: “Khadin diagram” Applewhite, Chablis. Sketch. April 2012. Original Artwork Ninan, Ajit. “Khadin”. Drawing. Rainwaterharvesting.org Publish date N.A. < http://www. rainwaterharvesting.org/Rural/thar-desert_tradi.htm>. Image 5.2: “Narayan Rao’s Stepwell in Idar, Gujarat India” Applewhite, Chablis. Graphite on Trace. January 2012. Original Artwork Livingston, Morna. “Narayan Rao’s Stepwell in Idar, Gujarat India” Steps to Water: The Ancient Stepwells of India. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2002. 105. Image 5.3: “Adalaj vav” Applewhite, Chablis. Graphite on Trace. January 2012. Original Artwork Daveybot. “Adalaj vav”. Drawing. djibnet.com 7 November 2006. 3 February 2012 <http:// www.djibnet.com/photo/step%20well/adalaj-wav-step-well-drawing-298811878.html>. Image 5.4: “Plan Section Analysis Vikia Stepwell Ghumli, Gujarat” Applewhite, Chablis. Graphite on Trace. January 2012. Original Artwork Livingston, Morna. “Vikia Stepwell Ghumli, Gujarat” Steps to Water: The Ancient Stepwells of India. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2002. 5. Images 5.5: “Plan Section Diagram” Applewhite, Chablis. Graphite on Trace. January 2012. Image 5.6: “Plan Section Diagram” Applewhite, Chablis. Graphite on Trace. January 2012. Image 5.7: “Plan /Section Analysis Layered with Programmatic Elements” Applewhite, Chablis. Graphite on Trace. January 2012. Image 5.8: “Plan /Section Analysis Layered with Programmatic Elements” Applewhite, Chablis. Graphite on Trace. January 2012. Image 5.9: “Plan /Section Analysis Layered with Programmatic Elements” Applewhite, Chablis. Graphite on Trace. January 2012. Image 5.10: “Initial Sketch of Water collection Structure” Applewhite, Chablis. Chalk on Cardboard. Studio X 2011. Image 5.11: “Parti Sketch inspired by Peter Zumthor’s Baths” Applewhite, Chablis. Pencil. Studio X 2011. Image 5.12: “Conceptual Sketch of water collection embracing its environment” Applewhite, Chablis. Charcoal on cardboard. Studio X 2011. Images 5.13: “AstitVav Predecessor, Plan and Section” Applewhite, Chablis. Graphite & Charcoal on Trace. Studio X 2011. Images 5.14: “AstitVav Predecessor Axonometric” Applewhite, Chablis. Graphite on Trace. Studio X 2011. Images 5.15: “Capacity & Constraints Concept Model” Applewhite, Chablis. Acrylic and Sand. February 2012. Images 5.16: “Capacity & Constraints Concept Model” Applewhite, Chablis. Acrylic and Sand. February 2012. Images 5.17: “Capacity & Constraints Concept Model” Applewhite, Chablis. Acrylic. February 2012. Images 5.18: “Capacity & Constraints Concept Model” Applewhite, Chablis. Acrylic and sticky back. February 2012. Image 5.19: “Conceptual Site Section” Applewhite, Chablis. Pencil, ink. March 2012. Image 5.20: “Site Casting” Applewhite, Chablis. Carved Plaster with pigment. January 2012. Image 5.21: “Site Casting” Applewhite, Chablis. Carved Clay. January 2012. Image 5.22: “Site Casting” Applewhite, Chablis. Carved Foam and Plaster. January 2012. Images 5.23: “Preliminary Sub-structure Concept Model” Applewhite, Chablis. Cardboard, Chipboard, Wood. March 2012. Images 5.24: “Preliminary Sub-structure Concept Model” Applewhite, Chablis. Cardboard, Chipboard, Wood. March 2012.
Images 5.25: “Preliminary Sub-structure Concept Model” Applewhite, Chablis. Cardboard, Chipboard, Wood. March 2012. Image 5.26: “Modular Re-direction cube” Applewhite, Chablis. Chalk brown paper. March 2012. Image 5.27: “Modular Re-direction cube” Applewhite, Chablis. Photoshop. March 2012. Image 5.28: “Porosity Model” Applewhite, Chablis. Cardboard, Chipboard. March 2012. Image 5.29: “Porosity Model” Applewhite, Chablis. Cardboard, Chipboard. March 2012. Image 5.30: “The Site Plan” Applewhite, Chablis. Wood, Acrylic, Paper. March 2012. Image 5.31: “The Site Model” Applewhite, Chablis. Wood, Acrylic, Paper. March 2012. Image 5.32: “Site Model with Stand” Applewhite, Chablis. Wood, Acrylic, Paper. March 2012. Image 5.33: “Detail of the Site model” Applewhite, Chablis. Wood, Acrylic, Paper. March 2012. Image 5.34: “Initial Plans representing systems Applewhite, Chablis. Graphite on trace, layered in Photoshop. February 2012. Image 5.35: “Plan Progression” Applewhite, Chablis. Graphite on trace, layered in Photoshop. February 2012. Image 5.36: “Further Plan Progression” Applewhite, Chablis. Graphite and ink on trace, layered in Photoshop. March 2012. Image 5.37: “The Final Series of Plans” Applewhite, Chablis. Graphite on trace, layered in Photoshop. March 2012. Images 5.38 - 5.40: “The Permeable Collection” Applewhite, Chablis. Color pencil. February 2012. Image 5.41: The AstitVav Systems Applewhite, Chablis. Layered in Photoshop, Graphite on trace. March 2012. Image 5.42: “Concept Section green” Applewhite, Chablis. Graphite on trace, layered in Photoshop. March 2012. Image 5.43: “Concept Section blue” Applewhite, Chablis. Graphite on trace, layered in Photoshop. March 2012. Image 5.44: “Circulation Section” Applewhite, Chablis. Graphite on trace. March 2012. Image 5.45: “Structural Section” Applewhite, Chablis. Graphite on trace. March 2012. Image 5.46: “Section of Thresholds” Applewhite, Chablis. Graphite on trace. March 2012. Image 5.47: “Rendering of AstitVav in the dunes” Applewhite, Chablis. Photoshop. April 2012. Image 5.48: “Conceptual rendering of the well as seen from below” Applewhite, Chablis. Color Pencil, Photoshop. April 2012. Image 5.49: “Conceptual renderings of the well as viewed from within” Applewhite, Chablis. Charcoal. April 2012. Image 5.50: “Beacon of Sanctuary in the Desert” Applewhite, Chablis. Graphite on trace. April 2012. Image 5.51: “Conceptual Rendering of the Pani-Wall” Applewhite, Chablis. Photoshop. April 2012. Image: 5.52: “Model Pani-wall Detail” Applewhite, Chablis. Photo. April 2012. Image 5.53: “AstitVav model in the Sand” Applewhite, Chablis. Photoshop. April 2012. Image 5.54: “Model Detail view of Pani-wall” Applewhite, Chablis. Photo. April 2012. Image 5.55: “Model Detail view of Porosity wall” Applewhite, Chablis. Photo. April 2012. Image 5.56: “Model Detail view of Threshold” Applewhite, Chablis. Photo. April 2012. Image 5.57: “Aerial View of Well Tower” Applewhite, Chablis. Photo. April 2012.
In order for life to flourish, water must be treated as though it were alive because water is as alive as you and we are as alive as our waters. â€“Betsy Damon
The significance of water to all living things on this planet has no equal; there are few creatures here that can live without it, and humans are not one of them. Therefore, it should be held with the utmost regard and reverence. Unfortunately, water is taken for granted by those with easy access to it, squandered by some and yet prayed for by many. It is
predicted to be a core cause of future world wars. Water is in everything we eat and drink. The majority of our planet and our bodies are made up of it, and we don’t really know how to garner it for the masses. There is a growing crisis for underdeveloped and developing countries to provide enough clean water for their people’s basic survival. Political, economic, social and cultural conflicts add to the complexity of the problem with water pollution and mismanaged systems. Irresponsible practices and global climate change have led to serious water shortages in countries with predominantly agricultural populations, thus compounding the damage of acute water scarcity.
PHOTO 1.0: “Earth’s Fall into Water”
I n d i a , considered to be newly industrialized based on its geographic size, is still predominately rural and agricultural. With the 2nd largest population in the world, 1.2 billion people, India relies heavily on groundwater and seasonal monsoons for the majority of its water, but there is a growing crisis of water shortage throughout the country. The water problems in India are largely man-made; the monsoon rains provide ample water for Indiaâ€™s people. PHOTO: 1.1 nown as the even isterâ€™s all, this waterfall is located at the co ar in herrapunji
Mismanagement, overconsumption and pollution are the real issues compounding the
predicament and the issues most easily amended.
Rainwater harvesting is not a new idea
Image 1.0: Rainwater Harvesting Stamp available in India for 5 Rupee, it was issued June 5, 2006
Harvesting rainwater at the local rural scale is a step in the right
in India, there are wide-ranging traditional
direction. It allows communities access to water and presents an
methods to deal with rainwater collection
opportunity for stabili ation within the regional hydrological
in almost all of India’s geographic regions.
system. The artificial recharging of groundwater when managed on
Unfortunately, this is a dying wisdom, replaced
a larger scale promotes a healthy water network which benefits the
by western techniques and irresponsible
surrounding communities and environment in times of drought.
practices. The shift towards western modernity and human development also embraces the overindulgences that strain the
The primary focus of this terminal Master’s pro ect is an in-
water resources. The rise in the middle class leads to lifestyle
depth investigation into traditional rainwater harvesting techniques
changes and consumption patterns detrimental to the current
and theories, in particular, as they apply to speci c ecological regions
supply of usable water. Many Indians fear the monsoon’s deadly
experiencing extremely different rainfall averages. The selected sites
floods, which bring destruction with the life giving fluid. Indeed,
share common water de ciencies despite their contrasting ecologies,
without the monsoon storms, which can deliver up to 90 percent of
but the dynamics of their shortages are very different. The rst site is
a year’s rainfall, almost a billion people would go hungry. In the past the monsoon season sufficiently recharged the groundwater;
ooded with an abundance of water during the monsoon season, but doesn’t maintain it, while the second site receives hardly any.
now it is at risk due to mismanagement, exploitation and pollution. Indian farmers depend on these replenished surface and ground waters as their main source of irrigation. Current policies include “quick fix” schemes- a new dam or a desalination plant that don’t take into account the long term 1
There is no
one solution to a problem that has many sources. The need is to change the way water resources are used, consumed, and managed. 1 “When the Rains Fail” The Economist, The Economist Newspaper Limited London: Sept. 2009, 4. PHOTO: 1.2 The Eco
ark. Cherrapun i, India
PHOTO: 1. The Thar esert near the huri illage, Ra astan, India
effects or expense to tax-payers and the environment.
One concept of water harvesting that has always produced
stratified to fill the container. The amount of each material doubles, the amount of smaller gravel is twice the amount of large gravel and the
results is to catch it where it falls. The methods of rainwater collection
sand is twice the amount of smaller gravel. These materials can be from
vary with location but the fundamentals are basically the same; catch
any local clean source and free of organic material, (plants, roots, etc.),
it, store it, purify it and use it. Harvesting rain is a practice that has
which makes this system attractive and affordable in even the most
been around for centuries. Cisterns and storage tanks are used in most
remote locations.2 The components performing the actual purification;
countries throughout the world. Rainwater harvesting is a practical solution, developed out of necessity for communities that depend solely on rainwater for domestic and agricultural use, and can be
source water. The addition of systems in series and other filtration
and the knowledge of their construction have been passed
methods; charcoal, chorine and / or solar radiation, ensure
down through generations to mitigate even the most drought
refinement of even the most polluted water sources. The slow
prone areas of the world. The rain collected can be used for
sand filter requires no electricity or moving parts, but depending
any purpose, usually with minimal treatment. In the case of
on scale, may require larger collection and storage areas than
irrigation, rainwater requires no further effort. Rainwater is
chemical treatments. By far, slow sand filtration is the most
mostly clean; issues can arise with the runoff or catchment
efficient and reliable filtration system for rural areas harvesting
area surfaces or mixture with other contaminated sources. when the proper steps are taken to ensure relative purity. The processes are abundant and can include chemical additives, solar radiation, reverse osmosis and filtration. These methods can range in hazards and feasibility, some requiring caustic chemicals or expensive resources or skill and can achieve clean potable water from otherwise foul sources.
A number of the filtration systems used today are based
on slow sand filters. (Huisman, 15) The most basic system consists of a hierarchy of sand and gravel combined with the forces of gravity and microbial digestion to purify water. Basically, any container with an
rainwater for drinking purposes. 3 IMAGE: 2.0 A simple diagram I did to explain the Slow Sand Filter
Aeration can also be effective in reducing contaminants
in harvested water. This process involves forcibly introducing air to water and ranges in complexity from natural to mechanical. Rivers and streams do this with the help of gravity and vertical changes in environment, waterfalls are a great example. Any cascading water where bubbles are produced is going through an aeration process. The significance of this type of filtration is the removal of volatile organic chemicals (VOC); they are released into the atmosphere or easily filtered later. 4 The turbulence required to effectively remove contaminants depends on the waterâ€™s purity and therefore severely polluted water is only slightly improved with this method alone.
open top and outlet near the bottom can be converted to a filter. Inside this vessel, a layer of large gravel, then smaller gravel and then sand is
2. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Technologies for Upgrading Existing or Designing New Drinking Water Treatment Facilities, (Cincinnati: Center for Research Information, 1990) 33. 3. L. Huisman, W.E. Wood, Slow Sand Filtration, World Health Organization Geneva, (Belgium: 1974) 16-22. 4. U.S. E.P.A., 109.
equipment to work. Other treatments offer purification with minimal
construction requires no special skills or tools. Maintenance for this type of system is minimal depending on the purity of the
used anywhere the rain falls. Regionally specific methods
Treatment of rainwater for drinking purposes is minimal
time, gravity and microbes are available everywhere on earth and the
This exploration deluge struggle for water.
began with an appreciation of extreme climate habitation. It was transformed by an awareness of the
and the continuous
The term extreme suggests something exceeding the norm. With respect to climate, the norm is a range where biological life can
extreme heat, but in the heat it is the lack of water that most likely
easily flourish. Global climatic basic classifications are categorized
causes death. With the exception of air, water is the most essential
as, (i) tropical/rainy; (ii) dry; (iii) warm/temperate; (iv) cool/snow/
requirement of human survival no matter
forest, and (v) polar; further specified into 10 global classifications.
the geographic location. When broken down
These range from severely hot: Mean monthly temperature 35 °C
completely, the greatest risk to human life is a
(95 °F) or higher, to excessively cold: −40 °C (−40 °F) or below.
life without water.
The ability to maintain life in harsh environments relies on human
These concepts of elemental
A colorless, transparent, odorless, tasteless
liquid that forms the seas, lakes, rivers, and
innovation and ecological harmony. The societies that reside in
existence, largely foreign in the U.S., are
these remote and unforgiving lands have adapted in ways that are
endured every day for some. Women in
specific to that region and encourage a harmonious existence within
particular, bare an unequal share of the
the landscape. The peoples that succeed in adapting to the acute
burden when it comes to water. Gathering
cold of the Arctic or the severe heat of the Sahara have mastered the
water and transporting water long distances, is often the daily ritual
ability to meet basic human needs, but there is no doubt it is a harsh
for women, in addition to other customary responsibilities. Water
and dangerous life. Extremes climates often impose great risk and
is reserved for the essentials, often carried in a vessel on the head;
humble the indulgences of everyday life.
the weight and distance traveled serves as a reminder of its expense.
When the essentials of life are broken down to the basic
death is certain without shelter, this is also true when exposed to
rain and is the basis of the fluids of living
Herding families are often separated for long periods of time when
human needs of food, shelter and clean water, extreme climate
the rains are scarce. Women are left with the children and elderly
habitation makes these prerequisites even more profound. Only
and all the commitments of home, and the men must lead their
one of these “basic human needs” is absolutely vital for survival.
herds to water, however far that may be. There should be more to
Humans can survive for quite a while without food, months
life than just survival. Our continued collective existence depends
even, and in the right conditions can go without shelter, but no
on the decisions we make about the water we have.
human can survive when deprived of water. In sub-zero climates
It has been estimated, by the United Nations World Water Development Report, “that in order to ensure our basic needs, every individual needs 20 to 50 litres of water free from harmful contaminants each and every day.” (Human Development Report 2006, 4)
In some places the search for adequate water is a labored journey and the steps to clean and abundant water are countless and complicated. There is no one solution, because there are so many problems. The problems are global and local, simple and incredibly complex; they are in some instances environmental but largely man-made, and these problems for India are very real.
IMAGE 3.0: Diagram of a water drop.
Searching for the “form to follow function”, I want to relate the two in a way that made some sense. It is hard to understand water as a form because it has so many. Its ability to transform under any circumstances was intriguing and difficult capture. The sketch was a way for me to break down the process of transformation and grasp each moment and the changes taking place.
PHOTO: 3.0 The Eco Park during the monsoons P
Known as the “wettest place on earth”,
PHOTO: 3.1 This sign is located on one of the many photo op spots on the way to Cherrapunji, the sign states. “Cherrapunjee is locally known as Sohra” The name of the town was recently changed back to its rightful name of Sohra.
by the tribal people for
Cherrapunji is located 56 kilometers from
generations, theses bridges are
Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya, in one
the reason the Khasi Hills are
of the heaviest rain-belts in the world. The
a favored vacation destination
reason for the torrential downpours is
straightforward and massive, the Himalayas.
The bridges, some over 500
The warm winds are carried from the Bay of
years old, were designed to
Bengal through the flat Bengal plains towards
cross the treacherous gullies and raging runoff waters from
the Khasi Hills. When they reach the hills the
the steep hills during the rainy season.
winds are met with moisture from the low
roots of the
ndians and eco-tourists.
ig tree, these bridges
lying clouds that hang among the deep valley fingers. The
are not in fact constructed at all. They are grown. The Khasis
winds push the moisture laden clouds straight up the steep
people train the roots to grow hori ontally toward the
hills. The Khasi hills rise 1300 kilometers in a distance of 2-5
opposite side of a river or gully in order to walk across safely
kilometers; they are the foothills of the Himalayas. When
to the other side. The trees are massive and the roots grow
this warm air is forced to ascend, it quickly condenses and
relatively fast and with help from the Khasis people, they
makes rain, and a lot of it. On average, Cherrapunji receives
grow in any direction. The people use another native, the
40 feet of rain annually with the majority of that
rain falling in the months of May-September.
channel to safely grow until it reaches the other side. When
Cherrapunji holds two Guinness world records
the roots have grown a substantial distance they are braided
for the most rain in a single year, 75 feet 1860-
together for strength and stability.
ig root a
feet July 1861. The Khasi Hills are known for
functional. They withstand the torrential downpours of the
another naturalistic wonder, the Living Root
monsoon season, while steel cable bridges must be replaced
TOP RIGHT PHOTO 3.2 close-up of the Rubber ig s ama ing root system as it reaches out for any solid surface to grab hold
ut, and split the trunk to give the Rubber
The root bridges are ama ingly beautiful and
61, and the most rain in a single month, 30
Bridges. Built out of necessity and maintained
every few years because they become unstable when they
TOP PHOTO 3.3: Khasis War tribe youth as he climbs a “Living Ladder”, the roots, in this case, were trained to create a more stable route to the water below
ew elhi engiun Books 2004 134-136. ote This data is found all over the 5 John, Binoo K., nder a Cloud internet with some conflicting measurements, chose to include Binoo John s report since he wrote the un official biography of Cherrapunji. 10
icus elastica, or Rubber
ormed from the
â€œthe wettest place on earthâ€?
deteriorate. The root bridges actually gain
has furthered the
strength with age and the Khasis people
strain on the available
have passed the tradition of maintenance
and construction down to each generation
The high rainfall and
to ensure the knowledge is not lost. The
deforestation in the
descent to the bridges is a hazardous journey
area has reduced
5 to 6 kilometers down the slick and rocky face of the Hills. 6
These bridges are as beautiful as they are necessary; there
the soilâ€™s capacity to retain water,
are no roads in this area, no infrastructure. The footpaths
therefore, when the rains come there is nothing to stand in
connecting the villages are lined with carved stone and
the way and with the rain goes the top soil. It is a vicious
steep stone steps; it is an area untouched by modernism. The
cycle, repeated every year: the water comes as fast as it goes.
major income of the state is still agriculture and industry,
To soften this struggle, farmers use an irrigation system
but tourism is on the rise and employs many of the Indians
to divert the water laterally and at a reduced flow. Using
in this region. The increase in tourism has brought to light
bamboo stalks of different diameters as channels, the water
an ever growing problem in this region: not enough water.
is slowly redirected towards the fields. Between 18 and 20
There are various reasons for this lack of water in the wettest
liters of water enter the pipes per minute at the source and
place on earth including lack of infrastructure, soil erosion
is stepped down as the water travels safely over shrubs and
and increased demand. The dangerous terrain and seasonal
PHOTO 3.4: iving oot Bridge and Khasis youth IMAGE 4.0: The Southwest onsoon Storms
rock elevated from the ground on bamboo wood stands.
rains make it difficult to
build anything beyond
and soars above obstacles traveling hundreds of meters to
the flat plateaus where
the field and undergoing several branches and reductions.
Cherrapunji is situated. An
When the water reaches the plant it has been reduced to a
increase in population both
consistent 20- 80 drips per minute. The forces of gravity,
temporary and permanent
distance and carefully planned diversion pipes ensure the
As it travels these channels the water hugs the landscape
6 John, Binoo K. 102-4 7 Anil Agarwal, Sunita Narain, Dying Wisdom Centre for Science and Environment (New Delhi: Brisk Process, 1997) 64-9 PG
water does not stop flowing even when it climbs an
with manure from the terrace above. This system
obstacle. This traditional method of water diversion
works with the monsoons and in times of no rain
known as Cheo-ozihi is in direct response to the
as it allows the water to creep along the steep hill
site; modern pipe systems were introduced and
face in a controlled manner rather than rush down
abandoned due to deterioration or failure. This
unobstructed. This system also provides for less
system has reliably provided water to crops every
soil erosion as it allows some of the trapped water
year and is easily installed by two people which
to percolate down taking with it delicate grass and
seldom needs repair.
shrub seeds which aid in maintaining the top soil.
Another rainwater harvesting method
Thus, this cycle is far more beneficial to the natural
indigenous to this area is a type of terraced
balance of the environment while also providing
catchment known as Zabo. Also used for irrigation,
enough water for cultivation and domestic use. A
this type of harvesting is used for drinking
major reason for the breakdown of this traditional
water and other domestic uses. This system is a
system is the pressure of centralization and
combination of agriculture, animal husbandry, soil
agricultural intensification. The concerns over
erosion control, and environmental conservation. It
insufficient water resources in the wettest place on
consists of terraced land along a high ridge using a
earth seem absurd and easy to resolve, stick out a
system of hierarchy for the terraces. At the top, kept
bucket and let the rains come. It is true many towns
under natural vegetation is the first catchment area,
have begun to address the challenge of rainwater
the next terrace, usually not as steep as the first, has
storage and collection, converting rooftops to
earthen bunds and ponds, as the water descends it
catchment areas and constructing household
meets the crops and other catchment areas to slow
the flow until it reaches the cattle yards and finally
The people have begun to realize the
the rice patties. At this final stage the water has
municipal water pipes and state water trucks
slowed to a manageable steady rate and is saturated
canâ€™t reliably provide what begins each season IMAGE 4.1: CHEO-OZIHI I recreated this image from a book about rainwater harvesting. The graphic is very simple and explains the Cheo-ozihi method easily.
without a doubt from the clouds above. This shift back to a more self-reliant system of water conservation and awareness is slow; some impoverished Indians view modern systems of municipal water supply as progress and discount the traditional systems as antique. It is human nature to make every effort towards a standard of living improvement but not at the expense of our natural resources. These qualities of a better life can easily exist within the fabric of a sound and stable environment.
PHOTO 3.5: illside swollen during monsoon season herrapun i IMAGE 4.2: The abo system. I wanted to recreate a drawing of this system I saw in a book, the credits for the original drawing are cited.
This sketch illustrates the concept of a water catchment system that follows
y focusing within this specific
geographical context as the framework and drawing
the contours of the site.
from traditional methods of rainwater harvesting and distribution, several studies will be carried out to address the crisis of water security. The design objectives, relevant to the current concerns of inadequate water are; water collection, recirculation/ redistribution, purification and storage / recharge. By developing new strategies for rainwater harvesting within this challenging terrain, ideas generated here IMAGE 4.3:
may thoughtfully influence the methodology in other locales. This work is influenced heavily by the construction of the Living Root Bridges and their ability
catchment in this way, allowing a
sufficient amount of water to pass
conceptual sketches illustrates a structure that is deeply
during the first stage and gradually
rooted in its environment. A seamless integration into
collecting more during the decent.
site, these constructs explore the notions of natural
The natural path of the water was
important; I didnâ€™t want to create a dam or any structure that would diminish the primal landscape. The path of people was also a driving factor in these initial decisions. The journey to the water down below is as dangerous as it is breathtaking. By collecting the water in stages, disruption to the surroundings environment can remain minimal.
to gain strength with the passage of time. This series of
IMAGES 4.4 & 4.5 ater catchment investigations
I did this watercolor during Studio X in the Fall of 2010 for the Primordial Line assignment. This project had profound meaning for me and was ultimately the catalyst in determining my masterâ€™s project research. For me, the line represented a personal journey and the eventual return to home. The progression of time, as infinite as my heritage and finite as the life I have lived thus far, expressed in a path that folds over and within itself.
I began the site analysis with sectional mappings of the site. Although I have never been to this location, I was able to create scaled representations of the vertical landscape based on contour maps. By layering these maps and
IMAGE 4.6: PRIMORDIAL LINE PARTI
studying the deep valleys and plateaus, I discovered a pattern of vertical and horizontal spaces throughout the region. This vertical water catchment idea works within this environment to slow the flow of water and allow some to be stored.
he considerations of this site are as abundant as the water it
deals with. There are two roads here, frequently poor in condition. The seasonal rains erode the concrete and asphalt and often wash them out completely. The people usually travel on foot and there are extensive foot paths throughout Cherrapunji. The villages are connected through these paths; steep and worn down, the water often collects excessively. One design objective is to redirect the part of the flow and restrict the washout damage. This is carried out, in part, by connecting the natural landscape and structure in an interdependent relationship. As the manufactured structure degrades over time the organic components grow stronger creatIMAGE 4.7: FLOW
A diagrammatic explanation of the flow
of water and the redirection of that flow to
a designated catchment area. This concept sketch is in plan and section and illustrates a metaphorical and physical attachment to the landscape.
ing a stable more assembly.
IMAGE 4.8: CHARCOAL SKETCH, RUBBER FIG TREE ROOTS.
I was inspired by the amazing structural properties of the Rubber fig tree and its ability to cling to almost anything. As I was drawing this, I imagined the patience and care involved in the construction of the Living Root Bridges.
IMAGE 4.9: ARCADUM PREDECESSOR
Completed during Studio X, this project is based on water catchment and minimal site interference. The ideas of ecological involvement with the structure are expressed here. This site parallels the untouched nature of Cherrapunji and the desire to maintain that was a strong motivation in the design. PG
he Khasis dialect is prominent in Cherrapunji. They have many descriptions for the
various types of rain, “one kind of downpour: heaven-bursting, apocalyptic. But there are other expressions in the vocabulary like hynniew-miat, describing rain lasting nine days and nights without let-up, or the really fierce, 14-day khadsaw-miat. “ (Nitin Gogoi) The system name
“ArcadUm” is a combination of the Khasi base word for ,
rain, “Um” and a covered path or walkway, “arcade”.
onceptualized as habitable organic architecture, the ArcadUm
allows for occupation during the dry season. The route follows the King’s Path, the name of the local stepped path. The structure clings to the hill face and retrieves
CONCEPTS & METHODOLOGIES
water as it rushes over the edge of the plateau. As it passes through the structure the water is filtered through a membrane that slows its progress and redirects the flow to a natural catchment.
Expressing the precarious connection to the site and the connection to the sky. In this initial model, the concept of opening up to the water as the rains come, like some flowers open and close, was a design factor. PG
IMAGE 4.11: FOUND OBJECT MODEL
This concept model was constructed from a piece of found wood. At this point in the design I was concerned with the representation of the site and the relationship to the construct.
he gullies and gorges created by the massive flow of water serve
as natural reservoirs in the landscape. The water is restricted by the depressions it makes in the earth and flows away gradually as small streams. The fortified earthen catchment, mimics this natural occurrence. It relies on the natural contours and vertical embankments to maintain much of the water as it descends through the system.
IMAGE 4.12 & 4.13: CARDBOARD SITE CONSTRUCTS
While investigating the terrain, I did a series of models to understand the verticality of the site and the limitations of a horizontal construct. G
IMAGE 4.14: ARCADUM RESERVOIR IMAGE 4.15: ARCADUM COLLECTION MODULE
hese drawings represent the design components of the ArcadUm System
for water harvesting. The difference in scale is difficult to represent at the same time. The ArcadUm is a much smaller modular component arranged in response to the scope of the site. The water storage area is much larger and responds to a natural catchment capacity. This storage area is also considered to range in size from Cistern to Reservoir.
IMAGE 4.16: ARCADUM STAGES OF THE MONSOON
This series conceptualizes the seasonal rain variations. The stages of the flow as the ArcadUm fills and is withdrawn are expressed, as well as, the flexibility of the structure. I imagined the components independent of each other but distributing the water evenly as it passes through the membrane material. The material, similar to a wine cloth, reduces the impact of the water and offers an alternative natural path. It is not a barrier for the water to overcome; it simply offers another course. The visual representation of the monsoon as the â€œgiver of lifeâ€? should not be overlooked.
IMAGE 4.18: LIMITLESS
These sketches characterize the movement of water through IMAGE 4.17: SHAPELESS
space. The first represents the ability of water to become any shape, mimicking the vessel in which it is held. The second signifies the meandering course not hindered by obstacle or time. The last sketch is my interpretation of the eroding forces water applies to all things.
IMAGE 4.19: DIMINUTION
IMAGES 4.21 & 4.22: ANALYSIS OF SKULL CONSTRUCTION
IMAGE 4.20: X-RAY OF A SMALL ANIMAL SKULL
During the Fall 2011 Studio X course we participated in an X-ray workshop with professor Paul Robinson. The object I brought to x-ray was a small animal skull I found on a walk with my dogs and decided to keep. The image levels were adjusted to achieve a stark contrast and then traced. The drawing above started a style of drawing for me that I have enjoyed since this workshop. A way for me to find some underling order in things, and to establish a conceptual direction.
Conceptual Renderings of the ArcadUm structure in site. The graphics for this project were prepared entirely by hand with the exception of a few photo renderings. I felt this method allowed a more sincere connection to the site and to my design.
IMAGES 4.23 & 4.24: CONCEPTUAL ARCADUM RENDERINGS IMAGE 4.25: ARCADUM DETAIL
IMAGE 4.26: ARCADUM COLLECTION MODULE EXPLAINING HABITATION
The ArcadUm in its deluged form. The flexible membrane system enclosed within the structure acts as a barrier to the monsoon rains, offering protection from this portion of its process
Detail showing the flexible components in conceptual form. PG
IMAGE 4.27: FLEXIBLE ARCADUM STRUCTURE
This model was an informative approach to designing structure. The model was developed by establishing pivotal connections to the cliff face. These connections were important in determining the extent of retract-ability of the scheme. A measured geometry was required to determine the order of the folds. The majority of this knowledge I acquired by trial and error, minimizing connections without losing stability was the goal.
PHOTO 4.0: THE THAR DESERT AT SUNSET PG
Left Photo 5.1 oys jumping in the Ganga Stepped Pond at Dedadara, Gujarat Middle Photo 5. Rudabai’s vav, Adalaj, Gujarat
During the second semester of the Master’s project, focus
adorned with stone carvings of deities and ornamentation, women often
shifted to another extreme climate in India suffering water
worshiped the well itself bringing owers, incenses and offering to the well.
scarcity. Known as “The Great Indian Desert” the Thar
varied in si e and adornment but not in organi ation. This is a
Desert covers millions of hectares of Indian land, mostly in
rectilinear building type.
the states of Rajasthan and Gujarat it is also bounded by the
The Step Pond, a variation of the Step Well, was meant for sociali ation and
states of Punjab and Haryana and the country of Pakistan.8
bathing and was characteri ed by its resemblance to a pond, and was built
The desert is diverse in plant and animal life, and is one
of the most densely populated deserts due to its diverse
Wells and ponds as a water source
Livingston, 5 A
number of events led to the rejection of the Step urbani ation and disease were among
ecosystems. 9 The more arid regions of the desert are barren and too hostile for
the most devastating. The ancient Step Wells and Step Ponds of India can be
agriculture. These areas are significantly less populated than the desert cities of
found throughout the states of Rajasthan and Gujarat, and while most have
Rajasthan and central Gujarat. The people here depend on animal husbandry
been reduced to ruins a few have been restored to viable sources of drinking
and an ancient knowledge of the desert to survive. This arid region of the Desert
water.10 Other low tech water systems are employed in these desert states to
has an average annual rainfall between 100 to 500 mm and is generally
source water for the remote villages and nomadic herding tribes
concentrated in the monsoon months of July- September. Water is
of today. These systems when combined, ensure water is available
sacred here and great community effort is made to harvest the seasonal
throughout the year and in times of prolonged drought. 11 They
rains. Everything in this arid region depends on the shared wisdom of
range in scale and purpose
harvesting water. Groundwater is available here, but it is deep beneath
the systems can serve large communities, travelers or an individual
the surface. Historically, this groundwater was the source of most of the
family. The most successful method for collecting rainwater for
drinking water for extremely arid regions and neighboring areas. Great
drinking in the driest regions is the Kund or Kundis. The Kund
from drinking water to irrigation and
wells were constructed that reached far below the sandy dunes, descending
is an underground tank constructed of local materials,
hundreds of steps down to the sweet water below. These Step Wells offered more
with lime or cement , with a gently sloping catchment area proportional to
than water to the parched desert inhabitants, they offered an oasis. The wells,
the capacity of the kund. Owned by communities or wealthy individuals, they
usually created by kings or generous donors, were meant for all to use and enjoy.
were usually constructed with the help of the entire village.
Many were constructed along trade routes for weary travelers and tradesmen to
of the monsoons, the catchment areas are cleaned of all debris and livestock
take a break from the harsh desert heat and refill their water supplies. All were
are forbidden to meander.
welcome here. Often built near a village they were treated as sacred communal structures. Rituals and weddings were performed in and around the wells and although not actually temples, many wells were treated as such. Lavishly
8. Anil Agarwal and Sunita arain eds. , 10 . 9. S.P. Mehra and K.K. Sharma, . Sivaperuman et al. eds. , aunal Ecological and onservation of the Great Indian Desert erlin Springer- erlag , 009 . 10. Morna Livingston, Steps to Water The Ancient Stepwells of India ew ork Princeton Architectural Press, 00 1 .
Agarwal, arain, 1
usually mud reinforced
Prior to the onset
In areas where calcium-carbonate
was available below the soil surface, water-proofing was done with layers of
living conditions of many people and offer irrigation water to farmers, there has been
murrum* to seal the soil and ensure good runoff toward the kund opening.
much criticism as to its viability to provide consistent water. 13 The wisdom of water
(Agarwal, Narain, 134)
IMAGE 5.0: PLAN / SECTION KUND
Other areas used gravel below the surface to control the flow
harvesting in this arid
one is vulnerable to unsustainable farming policies and faith
of water. The Virdas is a system of shallow wells in a tank. In areas where the
in an unreliable governing body. The need to resuscitate this withering expertise has
ground water is saline, deep wells are useless. The system works like a kund
never been so crucial. nusual changes in global climate and prolonged periods of
but requires a great deal of excavated catchment area and many shallow wells.
drought increase the threat to this exiguous life.
The genius is that the potable water gets stored in the many shallow wells, above the salty ground water due to the differences in density. The arid sandy lands are extremely challenging to agriculture and crops are often decimated by the intense heat and water inconsistencies. The Khadin (IMAGE 5.1) system transforms
PHOTO 5.8: KUNDIS OF RAJASTHAN PHOTO 5.9: VIRDAS PHOTO 5.10: VIRDAS
the parched and barren dunes to lush fertile soil. By creating an artificial lake and adjoining well, irrigation and drinking water needs can be met simultaneously. An artificial bund is erected on three sides near a naturally occurring upland to create the lake. The upland then becomes a natural catchment for rainwater. The well is dug in line with the natural down slope. As the rains come, the lake is IMAGE 5.1: KHADIN DIAGRAM
filled and water percolates to the well. The lake, over time, can be used to irrigate one or two more drought tolerant crops by constructing spillways. As the last of the lake water is exhausted, the soil is moist and rich in nutrients allowing for crops that would wither under normal desert conditions. An interesting side effect to this type of desert farming is subtle greening in these areas over time. Microbial activities occur over time with prolonged saturation and sunshine, which lessen the threat of desertification and encourage the growth of beneficial plants. (Agarwal, Narain, 138)
Natural Catchment Area “rocky upland”
Crop Area “Khadin” Khadin Bund
Regrettably, many of these dependable schemes are being discarded for municipal water channels or canals, primarily the Indira Gandhi Canal or Rajasthan Canal. While this canal does aim to improve the *Murrum is Clay soil OPPOSITE PAGE PHOTO 5.3: RAJON KI BAOLI’S BAOLI PHOTO 5.4: NIMRANA STEPWELL, RAJASTHAN PHOTO 5.5: HADI RANI WELL, TODA RAISINGH, RAJASTHAN PHOTO 5.6: AGERSEN KI BAOLI PHOTO 5.7: WOMEN DIGGING KHADIN RIGHT
11. Anil Agarwal and unita Narain (eds.), 1 1 . Anil Agarwal and unita Narain (eds.), 1 13. Anil Agarwal and unita Narain (eds.), 131 PG
The Step Well and Step Pond constructed for the purpose of housing water, parallel this investigation in a number of ways. The chronicle of these typologies, their relationship
ANALYSIS & PRECEDENT STUDIES
to the desert environment and the rationale behind their approach are explored in detail.
The presence of this desert water architecture is fading with the passage of time, as is the simplistic beauty and wisdom of its form.
IMAGE 5.2: NARAYAN RAOâ€™S STEPWELL IN IDAR, GUJARAT INDIA
The reproduction of these drawings were the beginning of the research in the desert. I began to uncover the layers of meaning deep within these wells. The people who relied on them for what they provided, and the people who celebrated them for what they meant to the community. These were places were women could gather and be at ease, truly democratic spaces where all people were welcome.
The simplicity and beauty of the Step Wells is hard to convey in words. I began this analysis for the sole purpose of precedent study. This typology is one of a kind and predominately located in the region I selected. As I sketched the plan and sections, I discovered a story of symbolic rhythm, a deliberate journey to the water. These structures are massive and deep and carry so many layers of meaning as vessels of water in the desert. As my research progressed I found many additional layers of significance in these typologies.
IMAGE 5.3: ADALAJ VAV STEPWELL ANALYSIS
IMAGE 5.4: PLAN SECTION ANALYSIS VIKIA STEPWELL GHUMLI, GUJARAT
With these drawing I was looking for the relationship between plan and section, without having those details worked out. These two drawings are diagrams of the search for a parallel language, another layer of activity. The functions of storage in a conventional manner are overlaid and a generic network is introduced. The components, at this point, are just ideas about service and relationships. The connections and their interactions are broken down to shapes and lines.
IMAGES 5.5 & 5.6: PLAN SECTION DIAGRAMMING
IMAGES 5.7 - 5.9: PLAN /SECTION ANALYSIS LAYERED WITH PROGRAMMATIC ELEMENTS
The drawings, informed by the Plan /Section relationship of the Step Wells and Ponds, attempt to find a two dimensional connection between the two. Layers of the previous drawings, these begin to dictate a hierarchy of function within an arbitrary frame. The comparison of the two typologies clarifies their differences. The Wellâ€™s stretch of underground vastness and the timid protrusions above, compared to the sprawling footprint and narrow depth of the ponds. The configuration of these forms in many layers, restrained by a new set of rules, produces an entirely different form. As the functions, (these early rules) become more refined, the new plan begins to govern.
IMAGE 5.10: INITIAL SKETCH OF WATER COLLECTION STRUCTURE
The images to the left are included as a reflection of my initial concepts of water harvesting. These were completed during the first part of the Master’s Project, in Studio X. The sketches and drawing were my first attempt at designing a structure for water. As in this project, habitation is irregular and temporary. The structure serves the water, and in doing that, it also serves people. This project was also my first attempt at compounding the functions of the structure. The ideas launched while developing this scheme were carried through to the Lessons of Dearth and Deluge and became the ultimate objectives of this design.
IMAGE 5.11: PARTI SKETCH INSPIRED BY PETER ZUMTHOR’S BATHS
IMAGE 5.12: CONCEPTUAL SKETCH OF WATER COLLECTION EMBRACING IT’S ENVIRONMENT
IMAGES 5.13 & 5.14: ASTITVAV PREDECESSOR
The drawings included to the right were produced during the Studio X portion of the Masterâ€™s Project. The initial concept of landscape integration in the performance of the design as well as in its construction was a stimulating notion. To use the natural environment of site as an idea generator of form and function and then allow the structure to become embraced by the site is the essence of this prelude project. The role of harvesting and purifying water in a remote locale is foundational in this projectâ€™s mission. I decided to include the drawings in this portion of the book because it was at this point, the study of theories and concepts of harvesting in rural locations conveyed some special meaning. At this point I felt a personal connection to my project.
The concepts of depth and tolerance are explored here, as well as representation. The fact that this entire project resides below ground was a challenging subject I considered often. This early form resonated with the precedents I studied and the site. Although, the vessel at this point was just a hollow interpretation of my research, is was
CONCEPTS & METHODOLOGIES
a way for me to think about this buried space. The different
arrangements demonstrate the functions of collection, ABOVE AND BELOW IMAGES 5.15 - 5.17: INITIAL CONCEPT MODELS
purification and storage at this conceptual stage.
REPRESENTING THE CAPACITY AND CONSTRAINTS OF AN UNDERGROUND STRUCTURE
IMAGE 5.18: INITIAL CONCEPT MODEL
The colors represent the various functional aspects of the system and their relationship to each other
IMAGE 5.20: CARVED PLASTER ENHANCED WITH PIGMENT FIRST ATTEMPT AT SITE REPRESENTATION AND PROPOSED INTERVENTION
IMAGE 5.19: CONCEPTUAL SITE SECTION
IMAGE 5.21: CARVED CLAY INVESTIGATING THE LIMITS OF THE MATERIAL
This image depicts the flow of underground water and the vessel of substructure working within this zone.
TO THE RIGHT : The
struggle with how I would ultimately represent the site as it related to my project, carried through to the very
end. I felt the site needed production in some way that was more significant than just the place where it exists. These are some of the attempts at creating a responsive environment and the material investigations in representation. I did several of these investigations in plaster, clay and foam. The act of carving the material away to sculpt the perfect site seemed like the right decision however, the process did not return any viable representations of site.
IMAGE 5.22: FOAM AND PLASTER STUDY MODEL PG
IMAGES 5.23 - 5.25: PRELIMINARY SUB-STRUCTURE CONCEPT MODEL VIEWS
These models explore the idea of porosity in the structure. Instead of creating an impervious layer to keep water from entering, this system allows water ABOVE AND RIGHT IMAGES 5.28 - 5.29: POROSITY MODEL VIEWS
to flow through in a controlled manner.
IMAGE 5.26: MODULAR RE-DIRECTION CUBE IMAGE 5.27: MODULAR RE-DIRECTION CUBE CONCEPT ASSEMBLY
The porosity model integrates a passive water collection system within the structure. The
As I researched traditional
modular components and concentrated arrangement directs the flow of water from the surface of the site,
water harvesting systems, I found some
to the collection cavities within AstitVav. The natural course of water is reoriented and accelerated during
were complemented with dug channels.
the monsoon months to minimize evaporation and ensure maximum collection. This scheme also works as
The scale was usually small and I didnâ€™t
an intermediate filter layer prior to entering the complex. This concept was a significant component of the
find much data on the procedure, but
design. It stems from the principles of the kund and Khadin systems but deviates in scale and structural
the ingenuity was inspiring. The initial
aspects. Those passages were composed of earth and rubble, in contrast, this system is more precise.
concept was to create one structure within this permeable layer. However, once I simplified the module and constructed the model, I discovered the need for several layered functions working within one comprehensive structure.
Life in the desert works within the same holistic principles, each segment depends on the next for survival.
he service function of AstitVav is to collect, purify and store water for use
throughout the year. Since the rains are scarce, every drop that falls must be collected. To assist in the infiltration of water through the walls a subsystem of structure is applied. Similar to the excavation of earth around a Kund and the manipulation of site in the Khundis systems, the site is partially excavated along a natural depression in the ground. A permeable material is constructed within this area to serve as a transitional vein between the core construction and water layers. This material can be harvested from the location, formed and cured on site. This layer, once covered with sand, allows the most direct channel for water to flow without prolonged exposure to the sun. During the monsoon The site drawing and site model presented on this page express the relationship AstitVav has with the hydrological environment and the vast nature of the desertâ€™s expanse.
season an ample amount of rainwater can be collected, and in the dry season surface water can percolate down to this channel before evaporation. The permeable sub-structure also acts as preliminary filtration prior to entering the structure.
ABOVE IMAGE 5.30: THE SITE PLAN ILLUSTRATING THE SUB-STRUCTURE AND ITS INFLUENCE ON THE FLOW OF WATER TOWARDS ASTITVAV BELOW IMAGE 5.31: THE SITE MODEL SHOWING THE SUB-SURFACE STRUCTURE AND THE PATH OF GROUNDWATER RECHARGE
AstitVav is also a symbol of sanctuary for the people of this parched land. It is always on the horizon, a place for shelter and rest or an escape from the harsh environment above. The well at its depth, an authentic peace at its core, it represents the past as a transcendental journey towards the water. The ceremony is not without sacrifice, an intentional path is provided and procedure necessary to access the water. But it is free to all.
The site model depicts the great distance and depth of water in the desert, the scale of this barren land. I built the site model from 512 layers of paper, 5 feet long in the hopes it would convey the magnitude of a daily journey to collect water. The two villages at either end are minute in relation to the desert and also serve as an example of the distance traveled to collect water.
LEFT IMAGE 5.32: SITE MODEL WITH STAND ABOVE IMAGE 5.33: DETAIL OF THE SITE MODEL SHOWING THE ACCESS TO UNDERGROUND WATER
THE EVOLUTION OF THE PLAN
he operational systems of harvest and recycle begin to interact with the spiritual systems of repose and contemplation.
These elements interweave as you move through and descend within the space. The qualities of collection and recirculation are expressed in different forms; pooling, dripping, flowing and cascading. As water moves through the occupiable human space it is cleansed through
these situations and revealed in the design.
IMAGE 5.34: INITIAL PLANS REPRESENTING SYSTEMS GRAPHITE ON TRACE, LAYERED IN PHOTOSHOP
The plan underwent several phases as the design progressed. The changes were not drastic and the intent remained the same, however, my view of the program began to shift. Initially, I wanted to create a space for water, a place where it was celebrated. I learned, through this process, that is an arduous task. It is not difficult to celebrate water in the desert; the challenge is keeping the water safe. As soon as the rain falls, it begins the evaporative journey back up. The adaptation of this natural sequence was a driving factor in the design of AstitVav. The intent of this program was to expose the cycle, transform it and elaborate on the significance of this precious element.
IMAGE 5.35: PLAN PROGRESSION GRAPHITE ON TRACE, LAYERED IN PHOTOSHOP
IMAGE 5.36: FURTHER PLAN PROGRESSION GRAPHITE AND INK, LAYERED IN PHOTOSHOP
IMAGE 5.37: THE FINAL SERIES OF PLANS GRAPHITE ON TRACE, LAYERED IN PHOTOSHOP
IMAGES 5.38 - 5.40: â€œTHE PERMEABLE COLLECTIONâ€?
These sketches were an early attempt of representing the feeling of the water as it moved slowly through the occupied space. The gentle temperament of the water within AstitVav is characterized in these images. During the monsoon season, when this quality is most dynamic, the water is allowed to collect briefly before assuming its course. In this momentary bounty the water is honored by these damp stains.
A significant portion of this project was dedicated to my interpretation of the water harvesting methods I examined and how they performed with the program I developed. This diagram illustrates these principles operating at full capacity and demonstrates the force of the water and its importance to the design.
IMAGE 5.41: THE ASTITVAV SYSTEMS
IMAGE 5.42: CONCEPT SECTION
IMAGE 5.44: CIRCULATION SECTION
Theses section drawings contain many layers of information and meaning. The first two concept sections illustrate the water as an energetic force embracing the structure and space as it moves through. The sacred influence of the water was always present when I was drawing. In these concept sections I wanted to represent the presence of the water as an ethereal constant, as if viewed through an x-ray.
IMAGE 5.45: STRUCTURAL SECTION
IMAGE 5.43: CONCEPT SECTION PG
IMAGE 5.46: SECTION OF THRESHOLDS
The spatial moments are arranged along a prescribed pathway, much like the water, the route for people has a purpose. The successive levels carry meaning too. During the descent, inhabitants participate in the cycle of flow. The water level depends on the season but it also requires some effort from the people. During the drier seasons, water is lifted from the depths with the help of manual pumps. The circulation of water generated with the strength of human power ensures filtering through the system and honors the primal struggle of water harvesting.
IMAGE: 5.47 A RENDERING OF ASTITVAV IN THE DUNES
o ensure the availability of water throughout years of prolonged drought, the
core of AstitVav functions as a well. The central core, over a hundred feet deep, has access to subsurface water and subsequently can recharge the groundwater as it becomes full. The well wall climbs high above the dunes establishing a beacon of sanctuary in the oppressive heat and thirst of this arid land.
LEFT IMAGE 5.48: CONCEPTUAL RENDERING OF THE WELL AS SEEN FROM BELOW ABOVE IMAGE 5.49: CONCEPTUAL RENDERINGS OF THE WELL AS VIEWED FROM WITHIN PG
IMAGE 5.50: CONCEPTUAL SKETCH: BEACON OF SANCTUARY IN THE DESERT PG
IMAGE 5.51: CONCEPTUAL RENDERING OF THE PANI-WALL PANI IS THE HINDI WORD FOR WATER
The Pani-wall is more than a place to fill up water buckets. I imagined this space, shielded from the harsh desert sun and filled with the sound of trickling water, as a space for gathering. It takes a little time to fill many buckets and people need a place to rest and reconnect with each other, this is that place. There is ample room to relax and tranquil sounds enhance the experience.
IMAGES: 5.52 MODEL PANI-WALL DETAIL
PREVIOUS PAGE IMAGE 5.53: ASTITVAV MODEL IN THE SAND ABOVE LEFT IMAGE 5.54: MODEL DETAIL VIEW OF PANI-WALL ABOVE RIGHT IMAGE 5.55: MODEL DETAIL VIEW OF POROSITY WALL
LEFT IMAGE 5.56: MODEL DETAIL VIEW OF THRESHOLD RIGHT IMAGE 5.57: AERIAL VIEW OF WELL TOWER
The differences in these two locations required a different approach and a unique process for each site. The proposed programs, also particular to the needs of the each communities and the climate region, differed in scale and function. The first site necessitated a more controlled approach due to the environmental restrictions and the abundance of excess water. The harvesting methods explored in ArcadUm were intended to function harmoniously with the environment without disturbing the qualities of this remote place. The concept of growing architecture or using the natural context as an example for construction is intriguing and deserves further investigation. The second site was strongly influenced by the processes contained within the harvesting program and the daily rituals of gathering water. The incorporation of similar irrigation techniques proved beneficial for harvesting rainwater in the case of the AstitVav project. The traditional desert methods for collection rainwater have infinite potential, given the limited resource. The design approach in each location relied heavily on traditional architectural precedents specific to that region. The â€˜Living Bridgesâ€™, in use for hundreds of years, outperform most of the man-made bridges of steel. The appropriateness of this type of architecture for this function in this environment is a noteworthy discovery. Reverence for the Stepwells as a significant communal structure and the knowledge of the systemâ€™s value in an arid region is slowly on the rise.
The analysis of these very different Indian regions was intended to begin a conversation about the parallels and the opposites. In this manner, the work reflects the forces frequently encountered in life, the yin and yang, feast and famine and the dearth and the deluge. As stated before, these projects cannot solve Indiaâ€™s water problems they merely serve as archetypes of contemplation.
This was ultimately a project of process and discovery.
Notes â€œWhen the rains failâ€? The Economist, London: The Economist Newspaper Limited, September 10, 2009, 4. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Technologies for Upgrading Existing or Designing New Drinking Water Treatment Facilities, (Cincinnati: Center for Research Information, 1990) 33. L. Huisman, W.E. Wood, Slow Sand Filtration, World Health Organization Geneva, (Belgium: 1974) 16-22. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Technologies for Upgrading Existing or Designing New Drinking Water Treatment Facilities, (Cincinnati: Center for Research Information, 1990), 109. John, Binoo K., Under a Cloud (New Delhi: Pengiun Books 2004), 134-136. John, Binoo K, Under a Cloud (New Delhi: Pengiun Books 2004), 102-4 Gogoi, Nitin, Believe it or not: drought haunts Cherrapunji, Mumbai Rediff.com India Limited, rediff.com Web. 24 April 2000. Anil Agarwal, Sunita Narain (eds.), Dying Wisdom Centre for Science and Environment (New Delhi: Brisk Process, 1997) 64-9. Anil Agarwal and Sunita Narain (eds.), Dying Wisdom Centre for Science and Environment (New Delhi: Brisk Process, 1997), 104. S.P. Mehra and K.K. Sharma, C. Sivaperuman et al. (eds.), Faunal Ecological and Conservation of the Great Indian Desert (Berlin :Springer- Verlag , 2009) 2. Morna Livingston, Steps to Water: The Ancient Stepwells of India (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2002), 14. Anil Agarwal and Sunita Narain (eds.), Dying Wisdom Centre for Science and Environment (New Delhi: Brisk Process, 1997), 126. Anil Agarwal and Sunita Narain (eds.), Dying Wisdom Centre for Science and Environment (New Delhi: Brisk Process, 1997), 127. Anil Agarwal and Sunita Narain (eds.), Dying Wisdom Centre for Science and Environment (New Delhi: Brisk Process, 1997), 131.
Anil Agarwal, Sunita Narain. Dying Wisdom Centre for Science and Environment. New Delhi: Brisk Process, 1997. Amidon, Jane. Radical Landscapes. London: Thames and Hudson, 2001. Cosgrove, William J., Rijsberman, Frank R. World Water Vision. London: Earthscan Publishing, 2008. John, Binoo K. Under a Cloud. New Delhi: Penguin Books, 2004 Livingston, Morna. Steps to Water: The Ancient Stepwells of India. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2002. Mehra, S.P., Sharma, K.K., Sivaperuman, C. et al. (eds.), Faunal Ecological and Conservation of the Great Indian Desert Berlin :Springer- Verlag , 2009. Moore, Charles. Water and Architecture. New York: Harry N. Abrams Inc., 1994. Pacey, Arnold. Rainwater Harvesting. London: ITDG 1986. Print Pearson, David. New Organic Architecture. Berkly: University of California Press, 2001. Smith, Peter F. Architecture in the Climate of Change. Woburn: Architectural Press, 2001.
Journal Articles, Research Papers, Electronic Sources Cook, Jeffrey. “Architecture Indigenous to Extreme Climates”. Energy and Buildings 23 (1996) 277-291.Web. < http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0378778895009531>. February 2012. Ertsen, Maurits and Hut, Rolf. “Two waterfalls do not hear each other”. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth 34 (2009) 14–22. Web. <elsevier.com/locate/pce> October 2011. Gogoi, Nitin, Believe it or not: drought haunts Cherrapunji, Mumbai Rediff.com India Limited, rediff.com Web. 24 April 2000. October 2011. Gujja, Biksham, Dalai, Sraban, Shaik, Hajara and Goud, Vinod. “Adapting to climate change in the Godavari river basin of India by restoring traditional water storage systems”. Climate and Development Vol. 1: 3. 2009. 229-240(12) Earthscan. Web. < http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3763/cdev.2009.0020>. November 2011. Hattum, Tim van, Worm, Janette. “Rainwater harvesting for domestic use”. Agromisa Foundation and CTA. Wageningen:2006. Web. <http://www.rainfoundation.org/fileadmin/PublicSite/ Manuals/AGRODOK_RWH_43-e-2006-small.pdf>. January 2012. “India’s water crisis: When the rains fail”. The Economist. The Economist Newspaper. 10 September 2009. Web. <http://www.economist.com/node/14401149/print> February 2012. Jaitly, A. “India’s water crisis”. Business India. 8 December 2003. Web. <http://www.teriin.org/upfiles/pub/articles/art85.pdf>. January 2012. Jethoo A.S1, Poonia M.P2. “Traditional Domestic Rain Water Harvesting System Suitable for Rajasthan State and Their Sizing-A Review”. International Journal of Modern Engineering Research (IJMER) Vol.1, Issue.2, pp-715-718. www.ijmer.com Web. January 2012. Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council. Meghalaya Census Data 2008. Web. http://www.khadc.nic.in/ October 2011. Lahlou, Mohamed. “Tech Brief” National Drinking Water Clearinghouse (NDWC) ndwc.wvu.edu. Web. January 2012. Macomber, Patricia S.H. Guidelines on Rainwater Catchment Systems for Hawaii. College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources University of Hawai‘i. Mānoa: 2010. Nanda, Mmrityunjay, The Indian Water Crisis Is No More A Child’s Play, Youth Ki Awaaz, 12 April 2010 Web. < http://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2012/04/the-indian-water-crisis-is-no-more-achilds-play/>. October 2011 Paranjpye, Vijay. “Dialogue Experiences in Bhima River Basin, Central India” INTERNATIONAL WATER CONFERENCE. Vietnam.October 14-16, 2002. Web. January 2012. Patel, Samir S. “India’s Underground Water Temples”. Archaeology. May/Jun2011, Vol. 64: 3, p36-39. Web. <http://www.archaeology.org/1105/features/india_gujarat_stepwells_ran_ki_vav. html>. January 2011. Rainwater Harvesting Implementation Network (R.A.I.N.). A practical guide to sand dam implementation. January 2012. http://www.rainfoundation.org/fileadmin/PublicSite/Manuals/Sand_ dam_manual_FINAL.pdf> Singh, Y.V. “Rehabilitation of degraded rangelands and stabilization of production in arable arid land of Thar desert, India” Central Arid Zone Research Institute (CAZRI). Jodhpur. Web. <cazri. res.in>. January 2012. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “Technologies for Upgrading Existing or Designing New Drinking Water Treatment Facilities”. Cincinnati: Center for Research Information, 1990 PG
Studio X Fall 2010 These projects were ultimately very influential in determining the direction of the Master’s Project
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Studio X Fall 2011 (Master’s Project I) The first project in this studio was an opportunity to explore some ideas of harvesting and purification.
80 - 87
Master’s Project II Some additional views of models and drawings, not previously included.
The Weave - This is a palm frown, woven back into itself to create a fan. Inspired by the project parameters of the â€œCabanonâ€? assignment and the home where I grew up, this construct represents the woven nature of my life. PG
â€œLe Petit Cabanonâ€? The first assignment of the studio, this project was designed to be speculative and personal in nature. The Cabanon is immersed in its surroundings, there is no threshold to divide the two, there is only the realm of habitation.
Conceptual view of the landscape beyond the mound- Watercolor- “Primordial Line”
My Primordial Line A conceptual sketch of the Line of my Life -
“The Primordial Line”- The Map Room, conceived as an underground haven and located in the desert. It is temporarily inhabited by nomads who hike through this region and require some solace from the heat. This project greatly influenced some of the design decisions of the Master’s Project “AstitVav”
â€œThe Primordial Lineâ€? - The Mound, designed for an extended stay, for the nomad who has taken root. This structure is buried in the ground, the mounds litter the landscape but offer shelter with a view.
Primordial Line Concept Models representing the eroding nature of the desert
The â€œCabanonâ€? project Revisited I used this as an opportunity to investigate the ideas of water purification and harvesting in a remote location, far removed from civilization. The scale of these investigations were the scale of the Cabanon, personal.
Initial investigations in ArcadUm structure
Conceptual organization of the ArcadUm system, its components and their relationship to each other and the site.
Preliminary ArcadUm Models
Additional views of the site model showing the village well (above) and the AstitVav water harvesting system.
Conceptual Representations of the feeling inside AstitVav
Published on Nov 27, 2012
The story begins with a critical awareness of the global water predicament, a subject that is devastating to the lives of so many people yet...