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The Living Dam

Part 2 Project 2014
Louis Sullivan
Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL) | UK
A proposal for the construction of Lake Stewartby, and a better typology of dam.

In response to the UK’s imminent water crisis, the Government has registered the severity of the UK’s water need, and has proposed that a series of reservoirs be built to maintain hydrological self-sufficiency.

Much of the UK’s existing hydrological infrastructure can be traced to the mid-19th century, when prototypical dams were created in response to the growing need of the Victorian Industrial Cities. The infrastructure was adequate for much of the 20th century, however with increasing despondency towards dam creation (in light of the controversy surrounding the ‘large dams’ of the 20th century, and the damming report of the World Commission of Dams) the UK has struggled to garnish public support for these essential infrastructures. Clearly, there is discontent for the current model of dam.

For these reasons, ‘The Living Dam’ is a new typology of dam - away from the image of solitary hydrological infrastructures, and towards a model which is not only integral but also integrated with society, an Arcology which may help alter the public perception of dams and reduce many of the negative connotations associated with dam management. A ‘useful pyramid’ for the 21st century.

With the integration of ecology, society and infrastructure, the Living Dam is the evolution of the Garden City and a physical model of a modern ‘hydraulic civilisation’; a community and society sustained and dependant on its control, management and utilisation of water, to question the role and awareness of society in the 21st century.

Through the ideals of The Living Dam, it is hoped that our cultural attitude towards their creation will be re-addressed and that society will be capable of living with dams.

Louis Sullivan

Matthew Butcher
Ms Elizabeth Dow
Mr Jonathan Hill
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