2008 • Doha, Qatar

Public Art Proposal

Ablution water from the mosque offers an opportunity to encourage water reuse connected to the act of prayer. The reverence for water in desert cultures is a sustainable ethos, yet the gray water generated in all modern cities, including Arab cities, is wasted by being discharged into the sewer rather than recycled. This is an expensive oversight considering the growing reliance in the Middle East on desalinized municipal water supplies. The five daily calls to prayer would serve as an effective way to integrate sustainability with cultural practices.

A streetscape project in Doha, Qatar, presents an opportunity to re-plumb the city gray water output through the urban infrastructure, the equivalent of a qanat along Al Rayyan Road. A qanat is an underground water distribution system employed in the Middle East for centuries. The “urban qanat” distributes reclaimed water in a code compliant “purple pipe” connecting home and commercial sources with a series of episodic public gardens. At each garden, a well draws water from the “purple pipe”, providing an innovative fountain and sculptural focus to the gardens. A traditional distribution system nurtures a variety of garden functions ranging from social to food production. Here too, the opportunity to redirect ablution water from the mosques located adjacent Al Rayyan Road to irrigate a shaded paradise will serve to inspire a symbiotic relationship with community and garden.

© 2008 Buster Simpson

Site Design by Todd Metten

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