Drainage Analysis
MLR 01 - 29 - 2010

At the Casa Batllo in Barcelona, Spain, Antonio Gaudi designed an outdoor patio halfway from the bottom to the top. The patio had tile paving done in fascinating colors and designs to add interest on the ground plane. But once one looked past the interesting flooring, one would see the amazing drainage design implemented into the patio. Gaudi considered the rainwater that would be falling on the outside patio and graded the paving in such a way to direct the water into drains in each corner. While the patio is tilted, this does not take away from the experience of visitors of the patio, I imagine most do not notice the detail at all. The Piazza de Campo is known for its historic horse races and tilted plaza space. But when I visited the Piazza, I noticed the subtle design to direct rainwater into the drain at the low point that was also a drain. The Piazza de Campo was divided into nine sections by a striping of paving change. An ever-so-slight curving of each section directs the falling water into this striping and down into the drain at the bottom of the plaza. The slanting of the plaza is at a comfortable slope where children can chase pigeons, mothers can push their strollers, and college students can sit and eat their lunches. In all of the cities that I have been in, there are incredible solutions for directing rainwater into drains and away from sidewalks. There are very few puddles in any of these cities with stranded cars, people wading through streets, hoping over puddles. Not only do these cities have solutions for directing rainwater, these solutions are integrated into the paving design, so they are inconspicuous as well. I have begun to look deeper at the details of a place to analyze the greater design to have a complete understanding of how design can be integrated with function and I look forward to seeing how the cities ahead have solved the issues of directing and collecting rainwater. But I do wonder if I will see cities actually using that water they collect if we were in a drier climate where freshwater is a little scarcer.

HTML Comment Box is loading comments...