Architects Dina Haddadin and Rasem Kamal have teamed up to create the Nomad Pavilion, an innovative structure that serves as both a desert shelter and a water tower. Inspired by indigenous Bedouin tents, the pavilion uses multiple layers of tightly-woven goat hair to insulate the structure from the harsh desert climate. A water collection cone at the top of the shelter collects dew and fog to fill the underground water tank.
The hybrid shelter and water tower is made from 96 Corten steel rods and knotted ropes. Inspired by the national flower of Jordan, the Black Iris, the shelter boasts an intricate geometric formation. The steel rods rise from the circular base and slope inward. At the top, accordion-like “petals” open to the sky.
To create an extra layer of resilience and insulation, the architects wrapped the shelter in multiple layers of coarsely woven hairs. Residents can leave the cloth open to encourage air ventilation when needed, or they can close the cloth completely to protect the interior from extreme heat. The goat hair also traps heat during the day and releases it throughout the night to keep the shelter warm. When it rains or snows, the fibers swell, and the exterior tightens.
As a water collection system, the pavilion is equipped with a “self-sustained drinking fountain” that will harvest dew and fog for water. A collecting cone — made of natural fabrics with hydrophilic and hydrophobic qualities — is located in the aperture at the top of the structure. These natural materials collect water, then funnel it through pipes to an underground tank.
The Nomad Pavilion is meant to be a more resilient version of the traditional Bedouin tent design. The architects said, “The main vision is to create a new interpretation of the authentic tent, a structure that blends with its surroundings, yet stands out as a calling sanctuary for visitors in the nomads’ land; to become a shaded oasis, a gathering rest spot and a source of fresh drinking water.”
The tent, which is in the prototype stage, is designed to leave no footprint on its surroundings. Haddadin and Kamal said, “As a result of using local natural materials, water collection and energy efficient space, the pavilion attempts to create a closed loop of existence — one that leaves no footprint, one that gives nature time to heal, to regrow and to flourish.”
Images via Rasem Kamal