Waterbench: sitting on water (storage)

Living in a tropical climate faces a lot of challenges, not in the least because periods of rain are often followed by droughts. With his Waterbench, Dutch designer Jólan van der Wiel provides a place to sit, as well a storage place for water until a drought strikes.

The idea behind the Waterbench is to create water storage that is aesthetically pleasing and part of the living environment, rather than hidden away.

The bench is made from thin Perspex tubes, through which raindrops circulate when the water has been absorbed. Once the system is saturated, the system is closed and the circulation starts. The water is pumped around through the tubes using air pressure, creating a visual reminiscent of natural sap circulation.

The bench was developed with a tropical climate in mind, especially places where a lot of rain falls at once, followed by droughts. When the dry season starts, the water can be taken out of the bench for use or consumption, though the bench cannot hold large quantities. Thanks to the Perspex, the water has no chance to evaporate.

The bench was made in collaboration with Benthem Crouwel Architects. It is part of the series Tropic City, which imagines Amsterdam in the Netherlands to be a tropical city. For other objects in the series, click here.

Photos: Juuke Schoorl