Bio-Mimicry: Water research center, Fika Patso Dam, South Africa

The concept driving the design of the Water Research Center of the University of the Free State in South Africa is known as bio-mimicry, learning from nature’s regulating processes to inspire an understanding of architecture in sync with the environment. Architecture, according to the project’s author, can mimic the mechanisms at work in nature to produce architectural structures that can sustain themselves, while in symbiosis with nature. The project aims to amalgamate the land mass and bodies of water with a dam constructed on existing pillars to form a hybrid landscape. The building evolves into a kind of living creature or organism with a roof-like structure opening or closing according to the seasonal rainfall.