Filter Bridge couples informal economies with infrastructure for water and sanitation.
The increasing density of the urban core is putting ever-greater pressures on the city’s ability to provide basic water services and safe passage for its residents and visitors. With the growing local population, and increased seasonal demands by tourists and visitors, the city’s water supply is in desperate need of an upgrade. Public facilities are few and far between, and potable drinking water is a luxury to be bottled and sold. The city’s great liquid asset, the Tiber River, has dwindled in its civic importance, as its major crossings are choked with automobile traffic, its embankments barely noticed by casual visitors and citizens alike. Once a connective force for the landscape of Rome, the River is now highly divisive, slicing communities in disparate halves. The power of the river must once again be harnessed.
The project proposes infrastructural armatures, acting as a backbone for water filtration systems, pedestrian bridges, and informal markets. An array of filtration loops filter river water with carbon, ultraviolet, and botanical technologies, providing gray water for public restrooms and shower facilities, and drinking water for the city’s visitors and residents. Composed of structural fiber composite tubing, the loops serve as a support system for additional development. The height of the loop is appropriated as informal commercial space, with modular shelving, tables, and hinged storage units serving as display space for transactions with local crafts and trades. Users find a whole new way to navigate the city, from water level, where natural filtration ponds and gray-water storage tanks serve a new ecology of river plant- and wildlife.