Weber Thompson received an Honorable Mention for their conceptual project, RainBellows, in the 2017 Eleven Magazine Biomimicry Design Competition. The project, developed by Weber Thompson’s Landscape Studio in collaboration with Alexandra Ramsden of Rushing and Jennifer Barnes of 55-5 Consulting as part of their work with the Seattle Urban Greenprint Project competed with 71 teams from all over the globe. Proposals for the competition ranged from fashion and architecture to product design and urban systems.
RainBellows is an architectural solution utilizing building facades to clean and store stormwater for reuse. Inspired by the form and function of the Ice Plant, Mesembryanthemum crystallinum, RainBellows showcases its storage capacity by expanding the exterior skin of a building until water is needed.
“Our basis for design is a highly-sustainable commercial building in Seattle, Washington,” said Weber Thompson Landscape Architecture Principal, Rachael Meyer. “The goal was to integrate stormwater cleaning, storage, and reuse into the building façade using essential building materials via methodology that could be replicated on future projects. The unique cellular structure of the Ice Plant provides the inspiration of filtering, storing, and reusing water through the specialized cellular layers of the plant. By designing a building to mimic the Ice Plant’s function, we optimize the use of water that falls on a site by increasing the functionality of the building membrane.”
Eleven Magazine is an architecture-design-lifestyle magazine dedicated to design-led innovation. They create award-winning international competitions and publish articles on the industry’s most notable people, places, ideas and designs. The Biomimicry Competition jury consisted of seven biomimicry experts from around the world who judged each project on criteria of concept, execution, feasibility, innovation, aesthetics and presentation.