Water Tower in Rancagua
by Mathias Klotz


The exterior of this water tower in Chile was designed by architect Mathias Klotz to ripple like a pond disturbed by gentle winds (photographs by Roland Halbe).

Water Tower in Rancagua by Mathias Klotz

Located on the edge of a motorway in Rancagua, central Chile, the structure is one in a series of new water towers constructed to replace those damaged and destroyed during the 2010 earthquake.

Chilean architect Mathias Klotz was asked by water company Essbio to come up with a concept to make the towers more attractive without changing the original shapes, which have become recognisable landmarks.

Water Tower in Rancagua by Mathias Klotz

An original proposal to transform the tower into a "large urchin" by surrounding it with wire was rejected due to safety concerns, so instead Klotz designed a system of metal panels that move with the wind.

"The idea was to produce a skin whose surface was altered by the wind so as to resemble the appearance of the surface of the water when the wind is changed," explained the studio.

Water Tower in Rancagua by Mathias Klotz

New lighting fixtures project out from the top of the structure, allowing the panels to reflect light after sundown.

Here's a movie showing the facade in motion:

Other projects we've featured recently by Mathias Klotz include a renovated castle-like building in Santiago and a rural beach house designed for the architect's mother. See more architecture by Mathias Klotz »

Water Tower in Rancagua by Mathias Klotz
Site plan

More interesting water towers on Dezeen include one in Spain shaped like the female form and a series of structures in Ireland documented by photographer Jamie Young.

Water Tower in Rancagua by Mathias Klotz

See more photography by Roland Halbe on Dezeen, or on the photographer's website.

  • Concerned Citizen

    I never knew rippling water to be so noisy. What do the neighbours think?

  • paul Needham

    And who designed the technical parts, the structure – who made the engineering and prototype of this product? I see that it’s not easy to make. Which company works on this product?

  • TFO

    Ned Kahn has been doing this for years. That’s why Clearscapes contacted him to collaborate on this for the Convention Center in Raleigh, NC USA: http://vimeo.com/1731079