architecture + vision collects water with potable warka tower – Designboom

architecture + vision collects potable water with warka tower

original content

architecture + vision collects water with potable warka tower
images © architecture and vision






the tree-shaped ‘warka water’ tower developed by architecture and vision is a vertical system that collects drinking water from the air by condensation. based on traditional ethiopian craftsmanship and shelters, the triangular mesh structure is made of natural materials such as junco and can be built by local village inhabitants. the 9m tall piece consists of a bamboo framework with hanging fabric spanned in tension on the inside used for harvesting natural liquid. the lightweight form weighs only 60 kg with five modules that are installed from the bottom to the top that can be lifted and assembled by four people without the need of scaffolding. designed with parametric computing, making it easy to be repaired, ‘warka water’ can collect up to 100 liters of drinking water per day.



‘in ethiopian culture the ‘warka tree’ is an institution, the shade is used for traditional public gatherings, school education and the like. these trees are a very important part of the ecosystem and culture of ethiopia and its disappearance seems unfortunately unavoidable. ethiopia suffered a deforestation of 60% only in the last 40 years.’ says architecture and vision.



‘warka water tower’
video courtesy of architecture and vision



‘in mountain regions of ethiopia women and children walk every day for several hours to collect water from sources often unsafe that they share with animals and are at risk of contamination. this situation makes their life even more difficult together with the endless household chores, resulting in lacking education.’ says architecture and vision.


installed at MAXXI – national museum of the 21st century art, 2014


warka water exhibited at the cité des sciences et de l’industrie, paris, 2013


13th international architecture biennale, palazzo bembo, venice, 2012


view of the triangulated structure
image © gabriele rigon


13th international architecture biennale, palazzo bembo, venice, 2012


textile detail 13th international architecture biennale, palazzo bembo, venice, 2012


detail of the textile with water drops


assembly, palazzo bembo, venice, 2012


assembly, IUAV, venice, 2012


rendering, top view


rendering, side view



project info:


concept: architecture and vision, arturo vittori & andreas vogler
collaborators: raffi tchakerian, tadesse girmay
textile design: precious desperts
communication: gianni massironi
support: italian cultural institute, addis ababa, eiabc, ethiopian institute of architecture, addis ababa university, IUAV university of venice



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.