Student Works: Thermarium

Processing Water Overflow
The Thermarium envisions a new beach typology for the Toronto Waterfront. Responding to the lack of swimming at Toronto’s new urban beaches and consistent CSO (combined sewage overflow) closures at surrounding swim areas, we offer new possibilities for water immersion and activity that are enabled, rather than prohibited, by the polluted run-off instigated by heavy rainstorms.
On days when rainstorms force the city’s water flow to exceed the infrastructural limit, CSOs are dumped into Lake Ontario untreated. They cause high levels of pollutants and E.Coli, forcing beaches to post “No Swimming” signs. We use water to clean everything; from the dishes to our bodies, water is imperative to our notion of cleanliness and purity. However, the act of cleaning transforms uncontaminated
water into dirty water. This project is enabled by dirty water. On the days when the weather overloads the infrastructure, the site and silo are put into action.
Acting as a processor, the silo treats the dirty water as an input and productively reuses its by-products: sediment, heat, and clean water. These outputs are used to construct new ponds in which visitors can bathe, swim, and socialize. The ponds are heated by the cleansing process and filled with treated CSO water. As the number of overflows mount, the silo site continues to grow and the lattice-like structure of sedimentation accumulates. The program on the site is based on water immersion and experience. Acting as a new type of park, the site can be navigated from within or on top of the new formwork. Pools are distributed in varying sizes to accommodate an array of uses, group sizes, and atmos-pheric conditions—forming a new public space for the city while cleansing its water.

[Thermarium Site Plan.  Image c/o Daniel Rabin & Annie Ritz]

[Thermarium Site Plan. All images c/o Daniel Rabin & Annie Ritz.]

The Thermarium is a project by University of Toronto M.Arch Graduates Daniel Rabin and Annie Ritz, that examines how to process water overflow.  The Thermarium envisions a new beach typology for the Toronto Waterfront. Responding to the lack of swimming at Toronto’s new urban beaches and consistent CSO (combined sewage overflow) closures at surrounding swim areas, the Thermarium offers new possibilities for water immersion and activity that are enabled, rather than prohibited, by the polluted run-off instigated by heavy rainstorms.

[Adapting the Silos into a processor. Image c/o Daniel Rabin & Annie Ritz]

[Adapting the Silos into a processor.]

[Site Processing. Image c/o Daniel Rabin & Annie Ritz]

[Site Processing.]

On days when rainstorms force the city’s water flow to exceed the infrastructural limit, CSOs are dumped into Lake Ontario untreated. They cause high levels of pollutants and E.Coli, forcing beaches to post “No Swimming” signs. Ritz and Rabin state:

"We use water to clean everything; from the dishes to our bodies, water is imperative to our notion of cleanliness and purity. However, the act of cleaning transforms uncontaminated water into dirty water. This project is enabled by dirty water. On the days when the weather overloads the infrastructure, the site and silo are put into action."

 

[Bubbles as a pressure-programme device. Image c/o Daniel Rabin & Annie Ritz]

[Bubbles as a pressure-programme device.]

[The (by)productive landscape of the Urban Beach created by Rain overflow. Image c/o Daniel Rabin & Annie Ritz]

[The (by)productive landscape of the Urban Beach created by rain overflow.]

[Accumulation and subtraction over time. Image c/o Daniel Rabin & Annie Ritz]

[Project plan shows accumulation and subtraction over time.]

Acting as a processor, the silo treats the dirty water as an input and productively reuses its by-products: sediment, heat, and clean water. These outputs are used to construct new ponds in which visitors can bathe, swim, and socialize. The ponds are heated by the cleansing process and filled with treated CSO water. As the number of overflows mount, the silo site continues to grow and the lattice-like structure of sedimentation accumulates. The program on the site is based on water immersion and experience. Acting as a new type of park, the site can be navigated from within or on top of the new formwork. Pools are distributed in varying sizes to accommodate an array of uses, group sizes, and atmospheric conditions—forming a new public space for the city while cleansing its water.

[Interior view of grotto-like spaces. Image c/o Daniel Rabin & Annie Ritz]

[Interior view of grotto-like spaces.]

[Sectional perspective showing various pool typologies. Image c/o Daniel Rabin & Annie Ritz]

[Sectional perspective showing various pool typologies.]

[Water cleansliness, temperature and location determine its type and ecosystem. Image c/o Daniel Rabin & Annie Ritz]

[Water cleanliness, temperature, and location determine its type and ecosystem.]

[Atmospheric spaces initiated from rain overflow. Image c/o Daniel Rabin & Annie Ritz]

[Atmospheric spaces initiated from rain overflow.]

Thermarium is one of several '-arium' projects featured in -arium: Weather + Architecture.  Click here for more information on the book launch, which will occur on Feb. 22nd, 2010 at the Univeristy of Toronto.  To purchase -arium online, click here.  We hope to see you at the launch.

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