Architectural Design that Recycles Water


Situated on the west side of Sao Paulo in Brazil, this unique office building named Harmonia 57 is a lean, green, water recycling machine.

Completed in 2008, Harmonia 57 has been recognized for its inspired design and just recently won the Built Environment award from the Zumtobel Group. The modernly designed structure of Harmonia 57 is wrapped in an exoskeleton of tubes utilized as an irrigation network for the structures façade of plant life.

The outer wall of Harmonia 57 is wrapped in a porous concrete skin with plants nestled into small depression within its surface. The tubes wrapping the exterior of the building provide a steady source of water for the plant life, encouraging it to grow and spread amongst the surface.

This living wall contains plants that were specifically chosen to help insulate the structure and reduce noise. As well, the irrigation pipework is fused within the buildings design to serve secondary forms of functionality such as railings for staircases.

Harmonia 57's distinctive grass roof collects the rainwater and recycles it throughout the house, providing the water for not only the plants irrigation system but also for internal water needs, such as toilet and tap water. The grass roof also helps to lower heating and cooling costs by regulating the suns heat more efficiently then a standard shingle roof.

The well-devised structure of Harmonia 57 is a great model for the future of architectural design and engineering. The buildings ability to harness the benefits of organic materials as well as maximize the efficient use of natural water sources truly highlights the importance and convenience of sustainable design.

Photo Credit: Inhabitat