Water tower like many other urban infra projects are often considered technical structures and as such aesthetics are rarely given any significance while designing. But in this project, Ban de Gasperich water tower, in the city of Luxembourg, the architects have taken special efforts for the aesthetic integration of technical works into the urban fabric. Apart from aesthetics do you know what message this water tower conveys to the viewers?
The development of the new Ban de Gasperich district, which will ultimately accommodate some 5,000 residents, 25,000 office workers, and 2,600 students and teachers, entails a significant increase in drinking water consumption in the southern part of Luxembourg City. It is estimated that the average daily usage for the Ban de Gasperich district will be 1,400 m3 by 2030. To cater to this demand, a new supply zone (Zone 10) will be created, encompassing a portion of the former Zone 08. To this end, a new 1,000 m3 water tower has been built in Ban de Gasperich, together with the installation of a drinking water supply network.
In February 2013, Jim Clemes Associates was named winner of the architectural competition launched by the City of Luxembourg. Jim Clemes Associates known to consider every project in its unique contextual setting, seeking to link existing identities with new spaces and functions, and set the foundations for socially dynamic and sustainably evolving environments. “Environmental responsibility is at the heart of the practice, as we consider it to be the challenge of the future and therefore an opportunity for creativity,” says the practice.
The water tower of the Ban de Gasperich that was designed to supply water to a brand-new district of the city of Luxembourg has now become an iconographic landmark day and night at the junction of three motorways leading to France, Germany and Belgium.
The high, white reinforced concrete cylinder is with its 68 meters the highest water tower of the country. The structure is reminiscent of the central tower of a castle and can be read in the landscape from a long distance. The steel skin surrounding the concrete structure of the tower is reminiscent of Luxembourg’s industrial heritage. Leaning against a delicate lace fabric with openwork and irregular voids, it appears very dynamic. Towards the top it loses slightly in intensity and density. Due to the “dematerialization”, a constantly changing dialogue between the tower and its surroundings is created depending on the weather and lighting conditions. Behind the walls there are two water tanks with a total capacity of 1000 cubic meters. The individual floors can be reached by means of an elevator or stairs – with a total of 427 steps. Dressed in a white metal structure made of woven aluminium strips, reminiscent of lace, the water tower presents a unique image. Like a pond in a park, the facade captures and reflects light, projecting an ever-changing image. The white aspect of the weave is meant to symbolise the purity and preciousness of water, while its pattern is reminiscent of underground water reservoirs in permeable rock formations.
Moreover, the lace-like weave is synonymous with the richness contained in the water tower, and underlines the preciousness of water as an increasingly rare commodity.
The project is the winner of Iconic Awards 2019: Innovative architecture – Winner and Finalist at Luxembourg Architecture Awards (LLA) 2019 – not a mean achievement for a water tower project.