Weber Thompson was awarded a 2017 American Society of Landscape Architects Washington State Chapter (WASLA) Merit Award in the Analysis and Planning category for RainBellows, a conceptual biomimicry project developed by Weber Thompson’s Landscape Studio in collaboration with Alexandra Ramsden of Rushing and Jennifer Barnes of 55-5 Consulting. RainBellows was one of eight projects to be honored for its excellence in landscape design and planning.
RainBellows is a conceptual design for the storage of stormwater in the urban environment using biomimicry. Inspired by the form and function of the Ice Plant, Mesembryanthemum crystallinum, RainBellows optimizes the building’s skin to clean and store urban rainfall onsite.
“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.”
Founded in 1899, the American Society of Landscape Architects is the national professional association representing landscape architects, promoting the profession and advancing its practice through advocacy, education, communication, and fellowship. The Washington Chapter (WASLA) was established in 1973 and today includes more than 400 members around the state. The WASLA Awards have run continuously for the past 30 years.