Abide — Architecture Competition by UNI.xyz

New Architecture Competition Announced — ‘Abide’ to design Challenge to design a memorial for drought disasters — UNI.xyz

Fig: 1 — Drought and flood

WATER, THE MOST INTEGRAL RESOURCE

“Water is the driving force of all nature,” yet its position in society is indifferent to this. Water is essential for survival and its availability/ unavailability could transform life in any region. Floods are capable of submerging the physical fabric of a city whereas the scarcity of water can lead to a drought, threatening the well-being and even survival of all living beings in the area.

Both of these forces can be catastrophic, and we fight every day to resolve this inequality and threat. In the ongoing struggle against climate change, this situation has been disparaged extensively in the respective regions, with more frequent freak floods observed in shoreline regions.

The increase in human population and consequent surge in water demand has left arid and semi-arid regions with limited water resources.

Since climate change influences water resources around the world, the original state of water sources is affected and the predictions of repercussions of this event in the future are dismal.

Fig: 2 — The drought plaguing central China for months has left more than one million people affected. (Credits: Dan Martin)

CHINA AND ITS RISING WATER ISSUES

China is the most populous country in the world. It has the fastest growing economy in the world, but this remarkable and fast-paced progress has occurred at the expense of the environment. At this moment, it is at a crossroads and the future development is steered in a sustainable direction.

China has been facing a perilous water crisis for the longest time. The unique geographical location of the nation has an unequal distribution of water as a resource. China is a huge country with 20% of the world’s population but only 7% of its water. The southern regions receive 80% of China’s rainfall and snowmelt (about 79 inches a year), while the north and west get 20% (8 to 16 inches). The huge population creates a constantly rising demand for water. To add to this issue, several climatic factors have affected the sources of water causing subsequent shortages. Pollution of the environment and water resources, along with inefficient use of water and over-extraction has created an acute water shortage crisis in China.

Fig: 3 — Dried-up reservoirs are threatening farmers and animals to live without proper drinking water and high food prices.

DROUGHT PRONE ENVIRONMENT

Drought disasters in northern China date back to 1000 years. It was characterized by dried rivers and desiccated croplands. The recent droughts occurred as recently as in the last 20 years, destabilizing the political and social landscape of the region. The main reasons for the drought situations are:

  • Unequal distribution of water sources
  • Climate change
  • High local water demand
  • Water pollution
  • Inefficient water management

The development of the nation can be impeded in the case of a water shortage. Focus is being shifted to the management of water demand and resources which would require some infrastructural changes. Technical solutions taken on a national level need to be supported by social contributions so awareness can be spread among locales. What water management methods can be employed in a drought-prone environment?

Fig: 4 — The remaining water resources are precious and cleaning the polluted waters can help alleviate the water crisis in China.

A MULTI-FUNCTIONAL LANDMARK

Brief: Design a memorial for drought disasters that have plagued the nation which can also act as a water treatment center and reservoir.

The design of the memorial must be inspired by water and its characteristics. The construction will make efficient use of the water resources available in the region. The aesthetics of the design is as important as its functional layout. The center must not harm the site environment in which it is built. The social, political, or cultural impacts of this proposal must be documented.
The design aims to create a landmark that can become a reminder of the importance of water as a resource in the nation. The center will be used to promote the efficient use of water in a deprived areas. The water treatment center must be designed with transparency, to spread awareness of the process. The blending of the design of the memorial and treatment center must be seamless and imaginative.

OBJECTIVES

  • Landmark: The visual impact must be exemplary with standout features.
  • Balance: The design of the memorial as a water management facility must obtain a balance between its aesthetic and functional components.
  • Acknowledge: Acknowledgement of the wars lost by humans against drought in the region. Awareness of water as an exhaustible resource.
  • Conservation: A model that gathers or harvests more water than it consumes.
  • Reduce: Use modern systems, methods, or technologies to promote smarter or lesser use of water.
  • City Use: The memorial should play as a learning public place in the city. The systems of treatment and water flows must be transparent.

SITE

Fig: 4 — Site image

Shanghai, China

The site is located in Shanghai, China. Shanghai is rich in water resources, but all of these sources are polluted beyond use. It is a low-lying city, and the consequent sea-level rise is threatening its existence. The city experiences flooding as well as drought due to ever-rising demands and water scarcity. Water management is the topmost priority in the region. The site is located beside Langhe Green Island. There is a water source adjacent to the side. It is in the Taobang area of the city. It can be accessed by a 6-lane highway.

  • Site area = 12,132 sq.m
  • Phase I Construction = 4000 sq.m
  • Height restriction = 6 metres
  • Ground coverage = 30%
  • Max FAR: 1
  • Setbacks (as per CAD plan)
  • Coordinates = 31°23'54.7"N 121°20'55.5"E

AREA PROGRAMME

The following programmatic outline is the point to begin your design at. You can add more functions and activities in relevance or modify the below design program.

  • Memorial space (display and description) ~ 200 sq.m
  • Water Treatment facility ~ 300 sq.m
  • Water Storage reserves ~ 100 sq.m
  • Learning and Training center ~ 200 sq.m
  • Outdoor landscaped area (gardens with seating)
  • Administration Offices and Services

Find all the competition brief, terms, and other registration guidelines on this

page: Abide | Public Building Competition on UNI | About

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Originally published at https://uni.xyz.

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