“Through its loose-fitting design, the wall gives back to nature, allowing for agriculture within its walls and forests outside them to thrive with the introduction of hydrophilic fibrous nets that collect water from the air, allowing for citizens, animals, and plants to prosper without a dependency on inadequate quantities of rain.”
We’re pleased to congratulate Adela Vagova from our Belfast studio on her nomination for the AJ Student prize in the postgraduate category.
Nominated by the Queen’s University Belfast, Adela’s work is part of her involvement in the ‘Home and Away: Decarbonising Heritage’ Studio, a cross-country, collaborative project to develop themes, principles, precedents and propositions
‘Liquid Edge’ is an example of how architecture can contribute positively to communities through clever, thoughtful use of material and technology, based on thorough research. The research and subsequent design which has been nominated is based on Hodonin, Czech Republic, a ‘shrinking city’ due to its depopulation.
Depopulation can be caused by various, complex reasons; the reliable and consistent provision of water being the focus of Adela’s design.
“The project utilises a spider web of information to propose a powerful intervention that reflects the needs identified throughout the research. The proposed permeable wall redefines the edge of a city, a country, and a landscape – an edge that has been repeatedly compromised throughout centuries due to its strategic border location and a recent catastrophic natural disaster. The project aims to define an edge to a unique yet edgeless landscape and do it delicately enough to change the existing negative connotations of walls and borders. Every inch of the wall can be climbed and crawled through, unlike its defensive predecessors, with the dense nets up in the sky and only light, porous structures meeting the ground.
Its existence is positive, inspiring, and functional by providing enough water – an overpriced resource in the area – to eliminate the country’s social inequalities concerning basic human needs.
The final design addresses four scales of necessity (the needs of the human, the city, the country, and the continent) and redefines the concept of an edge. Driven by its function, the Liquid Edge is a permeable membrane that frames a culture, a dry climate, and the silently suffering European woodlands. Through its loose-fitting design, the wall gives back to nature, allowing for agriculture within its walls and forests outside them to thrive with the introduction of hydrophilic fibrous nets that collect water from the air, allowing for citizens, animals, and plants to prosper without a dependency on inadequate quantities of rain.”
Project elements have been presented at COP27 in Egypt (2022) and the European Cultural Centre in Venice (2023).
Adela’s tutor’s nomination statement read:
“[the design] redefines the edges of the city according to patterns which engage with and redeploy existing local water resources while, through the use of spatial and material architectural concepts and technologies, realise new sources of water – a new liquid edge for the city. This new edge articulates itself in a variety of ways over a series of scales which concern both how water is captured, how it is used, and what opportunities it can create. Of pivotal significance is the design of a new, thick-spaced ‘fence’, obliquely referencing Cold War era big-tech technological heritage, which simultaneously defines one aspect of the new edge while deploying micro-porous fibrous material to entrap and condense moisture vapours within the air.”
Decarbonising Heritage is an international collaborative project between three Schools of Architecture exploring built, spatial and formal heritage, domesticity and tourism in Egypt, Northern Ireland and England. Project elements have been presented at COP27 in Egypt (2022) and the European Cultural Centre in Venice (2023).
This impressive design shows a considered approach to humanitarian and environmental issues which is becoming increasingly prevalent in the architectural industry.
We wish Adela and all the other finalists the best of luck for the celebration event, which will be held on the 12th October.