In California, the water supply relies on 157 million acres of land spanning 8 states. Due to the overconsumption of water in this desert climate, the city of Los Angeles is currently experiencing a massive drought. Every year, California uses 6 million acre feet more than the rivers and aquifers can sustainably provide. Alarmingly, the majority of the water goes towards landscaping. In office buildings alone, the average worker uses 127 gallons per day. Landscaping does not require precious potable water, yet most of California’s water supply is going to this particular use. Currently, there is a negative sentiment towards grey water recycling despite society’s need for it. People are afraid of recycled water, for fear of the “unknown” source. However, Mother Nature naturally purifies water in a very similar process. All of the water on earth has been previously “used” hundreds of thousands of times.
Less than one percent of the water used in Los Angeles comes from recycled grey water. This design aims to exploit the beauty of grey water recycling by providing not just a technical apparatus but a lush community space as well. The proposal inverts the idea of nature as an absorber and instead aims to use nature as a recycler of water. The circulation in the skyscraper is rethought and terraformed, to mimic the natural water cycle of Mother Nature. Terrariums are a common decorational piece that serve this function acting as a miniature biosphere. In this skyscraper, the terrarium system is implemented in the circulation core to recycle the greywater used in the building. The greywater is fed through the terrarium system, creating a self-sustained garden that serves as a beautiful public space while also paving the path to a water conservative city.