15 November 2018
OOZE’S ANTIDOTE TO THE WATER APOCALYPSE
by Meredith Lawder
Imagine swimming in New York’s Newtown Creek - one of the most polluted sites in the U.S. after two centuries of sustained industrial and sewage-based contamination. Now imagine every other New York street transformed into a self-sustaining, eco-wetland that recycles local wastewater. Eva Pfannes and Sylvain Hartenberg, the innovative co-founders of the Rotterdam-based architecture firm OOZE, are proposing just that — a revolutionary vision with huge potential for social and environmental impact, developed as part of A/D/O’s Water Futures Program, called Every Other Street.
“One guy in Rio was telling us: ‘Give me the quality of your water and I will tell you how healthy your community is,’” recalls Hartenberg. “Water is actually a mirror of human and urban [health].” The two began focusing on water as a fundamental feature of built environments while erecting a water treatment art installation along the Emscher River in Germany back in 2010 with the artist Marjetica Potrč. Then water infrastructure became something they couldn’t unsee — a vital but obscured function of the city now made visible.
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