This urban furniture design combines two practical functions, by providing not just a place to sit in public spaces but can also harvest and collect rainwater.
The Water Bench, which resembles a Chesterfield sofa, uses the grooves on its surface to channel water toward inlets disguised as upholstery buttons, and then directs the water into storage tanks either inside the bench or under the ground.
According to designboom, the surfaces of the bench stay dry so that users can sit on them without getting soaked, and the benches are modular and adaptable, with water storage capacities of 500, 1,000, or 1,800 liters. The storage tanks for the larger models are placed underground, but the smaller versions integrate the tanks within the bench itself.
"The seating piece has been conceived as the first prototype in a series of small-scale solutions that aim to emphasize multi-functionality and sustainability in urban design, in this case, increasing water independence at the local level, while also encouraging social interaction. devised as a means of alleviating pressure off of already strained centralized infrastructures, the bench responds to the emergence of water-dependency in our urban landscapes, in which green space often consumes great amounts of the natural resource." - designboom
The Water Bench is made partially from recycled polyethylene, and is designed so that both the bench itself and the underground storage tanks can be made from the same molds.
Designed by MARS architects, prototypes of the Water Bench are currently installed in Mumbai, India, where the installations could help alleviate some of the water needs for nearby landscapes.