Nuru Karim's Rain Water Catcher highlights water conservation and climate change

The tower design by NUDES opens collaborative opportunities with the Silicon Valley in US to address water harvesting and place-making through architecture and engineering.

by Meghna Mehta Published on : Oct 31, 2020

Nuru Karim of Mumbai-based NUDES has designed the Rain Water Catcher, a design proposal for an iconic tower in San Jose, California, USA. The proposal for a competition aims to address the global impact of climate change by advocating the need for water conservation towards the reduction of carbon footprint guided by designing with net-zero principles.

Water equals life, and the Rain Water Catcher aims to celebrate the role and importance of water in our lives. – Nuru Karim

The proposal for the tower attempts to aid water conservation and climate change and celebrates the sensory experience of water as well as adaptation of technology through its iconic form. The tower shares a sacred relationship with the site, in particular, the Guadalupe River, as well as the historical context that it is set in. Karim mentions, “This was part of a competition for an iconic tower in San Jose. Considering proximity to Silicon Valley, we were open to collaborating with Silicon Valley for advancements in technology vis-a-vis water related issues - creating awareness, remote monitoring, purification etc.”

  • The Rain Water Catcher tower is a design proposal to address the importance of water conservation and climate change | Rainwater Catcher | Nudes Nuru Karim | STIRworld
    The Rain Water Catcher tower is a design proposal to address the importance of water conservation and climate change Image: Courtesy of NUDES
  • A waterbody surrounds the tower installation and shallow water bodies are visibleon the exterior landscape formations | Rainwater Catcher | Nudes Nuru Karim | STIRworld
    A waterbody surrounds the tower installation and shallow water bodies are visibleon the exterior landscape formations Image: Courtesy of Nudes

The tower or installation has been designed as a receptor to catch and transport water into a safe, shallow rainwater harvesting pool connected further to a larger tank. The idea of ‘place-making’ is central to the tower design and is generated both as an ‘inside-out’ construct. The 200 feet (60.96m) high central space within the tower's interior area creates a sizeable informal assembly aimed at hosting events and fostering interactions that address pertinent social and climate-related issues. This space aims to serve as an experiential installation space to evoke the human senses of touch, sight, sound, and smell - a space of learning, discovery, reflection, and dialogue.

Advancements in technology is meaningless unless it impacts society and addresses issues plaguing humanity including climate change etc. – Nuru Karim
  • The Rain Water Catcher tower catches water that is then conserved and saved in a larger tank | Rainwater Catcher | Nudes Nuru Karim | STIRworld
    The Rain Water Catcher tower catches water that is then conserved and saved in a larger tank Image: Courtesy of NUDES
  • An interactive outdoor space for the public | Rainwater Catcher | Nudes Nuru Karim | STIRworld
    An interactive outdoor space for the public Image: Courtesy of Nudes

A shallow water collection pond is housed within the interior of the tower installation. The same is shielded by its cascading tapering form to prevent evaporation and reduce incident solar radiation entering the central void. A large tank is housed below the interior shallow pond that stores and distributes the water. Karim says, “The idea was to let viewers engage with the tactile experience of water, suitable for all age groups keeping safety in mind. The shallow water bodies visible on the exterior landscape formations are in a way ‘sheets’ of water over the main water storage reservoirs.”

The interiors of the Rain Water Catcher tower has a shallow tank at its centre and a space for gatherings | Rainwater Catcher | Nudes Nuru Karim | STIRworld
The interiors of the Rain Water Catcher tower has a shallow tank at its centre and a space for gatherings Image: Courtesy of Nudes

The form of the Rain Water Catcher true to its concept is algorithmically derived through fluid, flowing lines and geometries that create an interlaced pattern defining the tower as an extension of the landscape. Usage of cutting edge digital design and optimisation tools aims to streamline the process from ideation to reality, minimising wastage and fostering respect for the environment through the use of sustainable materials.

The tower also aims to open possibilities for collaboration with Silicon Valley to adapt latest technologies | Rainwater Catcher | Nudes Nuru Karim | STIRworld
The tower also aims to open possibilities for collaboration with Silicon Valley to adapt latest technologies Image: Courtesy of NUDES

The Rain Water Catcher aims to address the role and importance of water, place-making, interaction and modern technologies at the intersection of art, architecture, and engineering.

Project Details

Name of the project: Rain Water Catcher
Location: San Jose, California, USA
Architects: Nudes
Design Team: Nuru Karim, Aditya Jain, Ashish Ramesh, Harisankar

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