Page 1

San Diego Museum of Water Jeff Snyder Studio Bob Condia

Project Brief As the world begins to grapple with an increasingly hot and crowded environment we have been forced to confront a number of unforeseen realities. Non of these new forces are more confounding than the issues related to water shortage. At nearly every corner of the planet groups of people are being met with a lack of fresh water. This frightening trend has come about as the result of many different factors. In the past century the planet has undergone tremendous growth. In many parts of the world there is simply not enough water to supply for everyone’s needs. This problem is further complicated by outdated modes of water purification. These older systems rely heavily on vast amounts of fresh water while making little effort to properly manage the water once it has been used by the general population.

Hydraulic Infrastructure

Museum of Water

Education Center

This problem poses particular risk to areas like the American Southwest that are naturally lacking in an abundance of rainwater. Cities like San Diego are being forced to rethink how water is managed at the urban scale. It is in this predicament that I have chosen to insert my senior thesis. Architecture has the possibility to create lasting solutions to these pressing issues. By combining traditionally separate urban entities into one unit, a productive tension can be unearthed. This requires a new paradigm of thought concerning the life of a city. Instead of viewing the individual parts that make up a city as separate elements, planners designers and architects must begin to think about urbanity as a web of interconnected systems. This way of thought best is best equipped to make lasting change. The two systems I have chosen to most closely examine for my senior thesis are hydraulic infrastructure and an education facility. After much thought and research it is my belief that the city of San Diego can benefit by examining unforeseen relationships between these two entities. By combining these two elements a great deal of good can come about. I propose the

design of a water purification plant that also tells the story of water in its various forms through a number of museum style exhibits. Internally the spaces will be arranged in such a way that the distinction between these two elements is blurred. This maneuver allows the public to learn about the issues related to water management in a tangible way. Architecturally, the building responds to this lofty programmatic mission in a number of ways. The experience begins at the street level with landscaping that integrates the latest in sustainable strategies. The site itself will be used as catchment system that purifies the grey water from the surrounding context. As the building rises out of the landscape it is organized around a central atrium. Mechanical purification equipment run down the center of this space introducing the public to the mission of the building from the onset. The purified water produced in this area will be released back into the city water supply. Adjacent to the atrium space are a number of galleries that discuss the importance of water ecology. Starting at the top of the building and descending downwards, visitors will gain an enlightening understanding of the issues associated to water shortage through direct exhibits and the exposure to the water purification plant. A facility like this can only stand to strengthen the city as a whole.

Program Museum: Lobby Cafe Stream Ecology Lake Ecology Ocean Ecology Aquifer Ecology Recycled Water Auditorium Art Gallery Filtration Plant: Enhanced Sedimentation Ozonation Granular Activated Carbon Filters Sand Filters Secondary Disinfection Think Tank: Director’s Office Assistant Director’s Office Open Office Copy Room Laboratories Service Spaces: Bathrooms Storage Mechanical room Electrical Circulation (@ 20% of Total):

600 400 1,500 1,500 1,500 1,500 1,500 3,000 800

3,800 4,500 5,500 6,800 4,200 2,300

150 125 900 200 1200 1,250 2,000 1200 200 9,325 Total: 55,950 sf

Space Distribution Service Museum Think Tank Water Plant

Site Distribution Building Site


Jeff Snyder_Museum of Water  
Jeff Snyder_Museum of Water  

Senior thesis project exporing architectural solutions to the issues related to water shortage