Water Tank

Guijo de Coria, Spain

2015

Highly Commended

In the rural wilderness of Guijo de Coria in western Spain, a new structure dominates the skyline. From a distance it seems to mimic the form of a transmission tower and on closer inspection that initial response is justified.

Ignacio Mendaro Corsini was set a brief by the Regional Public Works Ministry to provide a simple, economic way of providing pump-free water for the very small local community. The practice took their initial inspiration from the concept of the amphora. This was a large ceramic container used by the Greeks and Romans for keeping solid and liquid foodstuffs.

Hydraulic studies were used to calculate water requirements which meant that a buried tank of 150m³ was required and an 80m³ tank at a height of 22m would be needed to create the pressure head. The primary objective of the designers was to develop a clear form with a minimal footprint. The new water tower is defined by a network of galvanized steel in the form of a stretched lattice cross. A platform at the top holds two 40m³ stainless steel tanks. Timber has been used to form the stairs and platform necessary for the maintenance of the water tower.

The provision of 80m³ of capacity at a height of 22m could so easily have resulted in a structure that was both massive in volume and footprint. The solution of using a lattice frame has resulted in an elegant structure that not only has a light touch but at the same time demands attention.