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National Runner Up

The Waterbench

The Waterbench collects rainwater for the plants incorporated in the seating surface

  • The Waterbench in front of Mastermeubel and next to Extremis, what an honor.

  • Testing the new prototype produced by Ebema

    Testing the new prototype produced by Ebema

  • Thanks to my football shoes the carving out the isomo mold only took me 9 hours

  • Proud concrete block owner, laughing before the transport struggles

  • Unwrapping my baby bench

What it does

Rainwater is used in public spaces to create self-sufficient green. The permanent water supply always guarantees a dry seat, even in rainy weather, requires hardly any maintenance and ensures a permanent green touch in the city.

Your inspiration

Cities are becoming more and more paved surfaces. There is less green and the public space turns gray. The precious rainwater directly flows to streams and rivers through the sewerage. How can we restore natural processes and give back some green to our urbanized landscape?

How it works

The rainwater naturally seeps through the porous concrete cover and is collected in a water-tight concrete reservoir where the plants find their water and food. The water is naturally absorbed and transported to the plants by a nylon cord. The Waterbench Rainwater buffer + water reservoir for plants Cover made of permeable concrete Collection trough in architectonic concrete Water reservoir: +/- 280 litres Dimensions: Length 250 cm, Width 174 cm, Height 45 cm Weight: +/- 1,300 kg for the collection tray, +/- 1,100 kg for the cover Colour assortment: available in grey, other shades possible upon request. Overflow, allowing water to escape if the tank is full. The element rests on rubber stands, allowing excess water to run off. Another advantage of the Waterbench is the option to 'plant' the bench with little prior effort, in line with the particular needs of the environment.

Design process

Starting with the the design question 'How can we restore natural processes and give back some green to our urbanized landscape?' I started researching what is being done today to direct rainwater to the nature. Porous rainwater pipes was one example. The material fascinated me. I brought it to the surface to show what it did to the audience. After this, the function to combine the material and water storage with greenery was quickly made. During my studies I made the prototype all by myself. I carved out the isomo mold by using my football shoes. I Filled the mold in cooperation with a concrete manufacturer and transported the (way too heavy) concrete block in a rented van. One day before the jury, I still had to apply the porous top layer... After I graduated I found a manufacturer who is now producing the market suitable Waterbench.

How it is different

Actually it is simple... A bench + A rainwater barrel + Greenery = The Waterbench 3 in 1

Future plans

The more water benches, the more functional water collection and greenery in cities.


Henry van de Velde Public Gold Award 2020 Henry van de Velde Habitat Award 2020 Fast Track Design Award 2018 Concrete Design Competition 2018

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