Freshwater scarcity is currently one of the biggest issues of the world. The impacts of climate change are affecting the water resources, especially in Cyprus, an island with an intense Mediterranean climate, with long hot dry summers, and extremely variable and uncertain rainy periods, sometimes not enough to supply the population throughout the year. 97% of the water on earth is salted, and Cyprus has plenty of it.
This project aims to investigate ways of producing fresh water efficiently, to explore the possibility of a desalination plant as a post-industrial, ecologically and socially informed productive idea. The intention is to create, through desalination, new types of spaces that become means of social and spatial integration of place.
The project is located in the Carnayio area in Limassol. A key factor in the site selection was the proximity to water network distribution, which reduces significantly the cost of pipelines, therefore the water distribution is going to connect directly to the main pipe on the Franklinou Roosevelt Avenue, without the need of transporting it to the reservoir. Existing structure will be used to increase cost-effectiveness and at the same time preserve the history of the site.
This project is not seen as an industrial one, but as a place that invites the public to contemplate it. Blurring architecture and nature into a hybrid system of water infrastructure, allowing for the desalination process to be discovered, understood and experienced by anyone, through a multitude of new spaces and new connections.
By exposing the process of desalination to the visitors within the architecture, everyone can look inside the machines and even smell the water being transformed into drinkable water. An experiential path is created along the plant, starting from the first step in the process, the intake, until the point where the fresh water is stored. Throughout the entire process, informative and educational activities take place.
Furthermore, in between the water desalination stages are inserted xeriscape parks, to emphasize on the ways landscape can still flourish while the water used for gardening is reduced to a minimum, as well as a Saline Treatment Centre that makes use of the brine extracted through the process of desalination.
It is created architecture that embraces context in order to operate beyond the boundaries of a desalination plant.