Water in the Desert
The 8000 m2 facility serves as an educational facility, and the water treatment centre for the campus. phase 1 of the site comprises of the first water treatment greenhouse, and the educational facilities. The architecture of the building is an “educational landscape”, where the main educational spaces are laid out horizontally, with jump of one level to make space for the engineering rooms.
The U-shaped arrangement creates a patio – part of the traditional architecture of the area – and an entrance space which leads to the gardens in the back of the main building, separating it from the later water treatment phases.
The defining feature of the main building is the flowing roof covering the educational landscape. It is following the required height of the spaces below, and provides shading from the high sun. The structure of the roof is derived from geometric motives of the regional architecture.
To emphasize the sustainable function of the building, two windcatcher towers help with the cooling of the interior spaces. These towers are a traditional architectural element, and funnel the higher winds down into the building, while also utilizing an evaporative heat exchanger, which uses the clean water produced in the facility. This provides an example for the students of how to combine water treatment high technology with climate adaptive local architecture.