Chris Moss, Earthenware Landscape Architects takes top prize at Garden Museum GI Week event

Rainwater public shower units win healthy places competition

Soapbox, the winning design, proposed an idea to enable healthy commutes (walking, running and cycling) by providing public showers using harvested rainwater and solar heating.

Created from reused shipping containers, the units would also be social centres with their wi-fi and gardens. Solar panels would provide both electricity and shade. The elements would, said Moss, provide symbiotic relationships:

  1. A storage tank collects rainwater from surrounding buildings and the hub roof areas.
  2. The tank feeds directly into the shower units below.
  3. There is a storage tank below the shower unit to collect the grey water.
  4. The grey water is fed into the garden container and used to irrigate the plants.
  5. Seating modules can be connected either to the garden or shower units. Through their solar canopy leaves these supply electricity to power the pumps and filters within the other units as well as wi-fi and power points on board.

This was one of eight projects selected by judges in a competition to propose ways to design healthy places that would promote public health, run jointly by the Landscape Institute and the Garden Museum. The proposals were presented on 30 April at the end of the third day of the museum’s GI week, a seminar on GI and health.

Each of the eight finalists had five minutes in which to present their project to the audience, who then voted for their favourites.

Second place went to the Thames Bath Project, a proposal by Studio Octopi, JCLA, Civic Engineers. The proposal, to create public swimming baths in the Thames, has recently been endorsed by artist Tracey Emin.

Thames Bath Project

Third choice was Water Boulevards by Baharash Bagherian, Baharash Architecture. This scheme, originally entered for the competition to green the Royal Docks, proposes a series of water boulevards which would create a network of healthy green streets while mitigating any danger of flooding.

Water Boulevards


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