AJ Kiosk submission: Maria Smith and Je Ahn, directors, Studio Weave
Our ‘watering poles’ are contemporary kiosks for London. Without the philanthropic acts of a sultan or need for a water tank, the kiosk is merely a tap. They needn’t be large, but water points do need to be easily locatable in London’s intricate urban grain.
Our daily lives depend on a sufficient water supply. When free, convenient drinking water is unavailable we are forced to buy it at hugely inflated prices. Buying bottled water is not only expensive; its manufacture, transport and disposal are also extremely bad for the environment.
The watering pole facilitates the growing trend of refilling water bottles by developing a network of drinking taps throughout the city. Each pole is located in what has been identified as a ‘hot-spot’ location. By allowing free water to be accessed conveniently, each watering pole also encourages people to collect around a focal point, creating new gathering and social spaces in the city. The poles vary in height according to the surrounding buildings, allowing them to be seen through crowds from afar.
Each pole is made from one repeated tile element - the Alaturka Tile (Ottoman) from ECE Kiremit. Each is glazed independently to create unique patterns throughout the city. Humans, plants and wildlife alike are encouraged to inhabit the poles, which become mini urban oases.