With the weather heating up and summer right around the corner, we were excited to see this beautiful German water park recently showcased on Dezeen. Designed by Ooze and Marjetica Potrc, the water-recycling park seeks to appease consumers’ fears about wastewater by putting the treatment process on display. Whether you’re relieving yourself in the toilets perched above the Emscher River or taking a swig from a water fountain above the Rhine-Herne Canal, you’re tapping into the same closed sustainable water system — which draws from the river and canal, rainwater and waste water.
Toilet-to-tap water systems are still a taboo in the States: it’s just too hard to imagine how waste water could be transformed into water clean enough to put in a glass and drink. This water park in the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia showcases the water treatment process through colorful architecture and a great set of eco-features. The design uses a constructed wetlands and a rainwater-harvesting roof to clean the liquid. An on-site community garden also gets its drink from the treatment park.
What better place to put such a park than alongside the notoriously polluted Emscher, which is so toxic it has to be fenced off? Beginning in the late 1800’s, the river was used as a grossly oversimplified waste-water canal. Dubbed “Between the Waters: The Emscher Community Garden“, today’s treatment park offers a view of the river lying above the adjacent towns as a result of extensive mining in the area. Even today, the area is heavily industrialized, but since the l990s, the river — which is biologically dead — has begun to recover thanks to a massive renaturation project.
Lead photo by Ooze