Places such as Mumbai in India are famous for the amount of rainfall they experience in monsoon season. This natural downpour usually renders public furniture such as park benches useless as residents escape the rain. The Water Bench is a Dutch-Chinese innovation that puts the furniture to work during heavy rain, collecting rainwater to irrigate the parks they sit in during drier spells.
Created by Shanghai-based MARS Architects, the Water Bench takes the form of a large rounded cushion and features depressions interspersed on its surface. These depressions look like buttons but are actually valves — when rain falls the water collects in the nooks and is drained into the inside of the bench. Not only does this system keep the top of the bench dry for sitting on, but also results in a reservoir of stored water. An extra container can be installed into the ground for extra, hidden space to store up to 1,000 liters. When the weather becomes hotter and the surrounding greenery needs watering, a pump and hose can be easily connected to the bench to release the stored water. The video below explains more about the Water Bench:
The Water Bench — which is being supported by the BMW Guggenheim Lab in the US — is first being trialled in Mumbai, where it will be installed in ten parks around the city. However, its creators believe it could be valuable in any location with both dry and wet spells. Could the Water Bench be useful in your part of the world?
Spotted by Murray Orange, written by Springwise