Images by Guy Wenborne, courtesy of Constructo
Water Cathedral was the 2011 winning entry for the MoMA young architects program international in its Chilean. The initiative is called YAP_CONSTRUCTO, organised by the Chilean Cultural Platform CONSTRUCTO in collaboration with New York’s MoMA, the Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1.
The project was proposed as an outdoor summer installation built for public use during the Chilean summer. A vast nave of 700 m2 composed by a field of fabric prisms suspended from steel frames. Which like stalactites in a cave provide a mysterious and playful space. The numerous components are arranged in clusters of variable densities and heights, gently dripping water at various pulses and speeds. Creating a refreshing and shaded atmosphere, enhanced by the sound of droplets falling in different intensities over a ground composed by concrete stalagmites that functioned as seating and water storing elements.
A hydraulic network placed above the metal grid supporting the textile units, distributed the water through canopy. Trickling inside the prismatic stalactites slowly saturating the volume of little stones contained within them and seeping through the fabric’s seams. This dynamic process, dosed the water optimising it use over the space. Cooling hundreds of visitors during an afternoon with amounts equivalent to the average daily use of a few families.
Design team: GUN Architects