BMW Guggenheim Lab/Flickr

A super useful piece of furniture for the outdoor urban living room.

The Water Bench is a rain-collecting outdoor "sofa" that could be a promising, micro-solution to the problem of water conservation.

Developed by MARS Architects in collaboration with BMW Guggenheim Lab, the Water Bench looks like the outdoor version of the traditional Chesterfield sofa, made of recycled plastic instead of Italian leather. Like its 18th century, indoor counterpart, the Water Bench also has grooves and seams, which guide rainwater to buttons that double as water inlets. And as rainwater collects in tanks within the bench, the outer surface dries for seating.


 

Its designers hope that the water collected could be used to irrigate the gardens and public parks where it sits. The first prototypes have been installed in two parks in Mumbai, India. Plans are in motion to test them in other cities around the world.

This video shows the water collection in action -- skip to 2:58. 

(h/t designboom)

All images courtesy of BMW Guggenheim Lab on Flickr

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