Hydroscape: celebrating urban water and its processes

Lisbon is characterised by the river Tagus, watercourses, basins and underground water flows. Its topography, the seven hills along with their valleys play an important role to its character. Its coastline has been shaped and re-shaped over the years. Managing, collecting and using the existing water sources of the city efficiently becomes crucial.

The architectural thesis, sitting at the bottom of one of the valleys – where underground water flow meets the river – explores the local phenomena of water in the area conceiving them as a natural machine of flows. One part focuses on the water system and treatment and the other one on the urban face of Lisbon. Following a collect – treat – enjoy approach, water from the valley is collected in basins, treated in mechanical and wetlands treatment and used by the public bath house and pools as well as irrigation for the landscape surrounding it. The proposal is an exploration of how such infrastructure can be incorporated into Lisbon’s dense urban fabric while creating a new public space reclaiming their harbour and river Tagus.

How can the most evident limit, the water, can act as a future tool for climate change, a binder, a natural link and public space for Lisbon? The aim is to change and reformulate the local urban relationship with water in a territorial as well as human scale.

The thesis project was developed through my exchange in Mendrisio, Switzerland and Mackintosh School of Architecture.