The Seashell Pavilion
- Teodora Velkova
‘Water is the driving force of all Nature.’ – Leonardo da Vinci
As the world faces a constant temperature rise, due to the human-induced climate changes, we are witnessing an increasing frequency in natural disasters. Thus, as droughts and floods become part of our daily routines, they lead to an emerging crisis, expressed in the threatening scarcity of fresh water.
The Seashell Pavilion is one of the answers in preserving the future of our planet. It tries to transcend barriers and unifies both humans and animals by creating a life defining supply of drinkable water. The pavilion is a dynamic and completely organic solar generated water-purification system, that finds its roots in the amazing properties of the seashell clam Tridacna Maxima. The project takes inspiration from the bio organism in both form and function.
Also, known as ‘the Liver of the Seas’, the seashell clams are famous not only for their amazing visual appeal, but also for their unbelievable qualities as water purifying organisms. As such, they are classified as ecosystem engineer that significantly modifies and maintains its habitat. The clams are filter feeders- a suspension feeding animal that feeds by straining suspended matter and food particles from the water, that is usually done by passing the water through a specialized inner filtering structure. The amount of water that clams clean per day varies depending on their size, but on average it calculates to about 80-100 liters.
Inspired by these amazing abilities of the natural system, the Seashell pavilion uses a similar approach when purifying contaminated water. As a solar generated system, the pavilion gains energy with the help of solar panels, that is then applied to an underground pump, which extracts water from natural pools, such as lakes, swamps, etc. The water is then transitioned through the method of reverse osmosis to be purified. Coming as close as possible to the original system of the clams, the Reverse Osmosis technology uses an applied pressure to push the water through a semipermeable membrane that contains the contaminated particles and lets only purified water to pass.
After the process, the water is collected in a larger container filled with various seashell clams in order to completely remove all polluted particles and help with the mineralization of the water before it is provided as a drinkable source. As a last step, the water is provided through a drinking fountain with accesses for both humans and animals, that collects all remaining water and returns it too a seashell filled container for further purification, thus preventing from water waste.
The form of the pavilion represents a cluster of four shells that are based on the traditional shape of a seashell, but modified to a more dynamic and liquefied form. Thus, the new appearance of the shell corresponds better with the idea of creating an interactive and attractive space to unite humans and animals. However, the Seashell Pavilion system could be applied to any fountain shape, thus making it a better water distributor that responds to its surrounding.