A team of architects, artists and scientists has created a pair of basalt structures on the shoreline of a South Korean island to aid to draw up fresh water from a spring beneath the sea.

The staff, which included South Korean studios Wise Architecture and Nameless Architecture, created the structures as part of an investigation into fresh water springs on Jeju, an island that sits off the southern coast of South Korea.

The springs form a valuable supply of fresh water for islanders and are usually surrounded with stone walls to protect them against contamination from the sea. But their number has diminished in latest many years, creating fresh water sources fewer and farther amongst.


The style staff constructed the pair of dome and pool-shaped structures named Tang (water basin) about 1 such spring that emerges close to the sea shore in the village of Gimnyeong.

“Rivers are scarce in Jeju Island and thus quite particular to people simply because they had provided drinking water,” explained the team. “There are some spots on shores where river water spouts out like spring water this kind of spots and the water are called yongcheonsu. Villages in Jeju Island had been naturally formed about these yongcheonsus.”


The structures assist to draw drinking water from the spring to the surface of the sea. Fresh water and salt water situated in a chamber under the ground are separated by a semi-permeable membrane. The strain caused by the motion of fresh water through the membrane generates sufficient energy to pump it out of the ground.

The irregularly shaped basalt rocks that form the walls are held collectively by lengths of stainless steel wire like a necklace to prevent the structures from disintegrating. The very same volcanic rock from the island has also been utilised to cover the roofs of villas by Kengo Kuma and to kind a collection of desktop accessories.


Stone walls are employed across the island to mark property boundaries, religious shrines and to type the walls of buildings – which includes a glass and stone residence created by Japanese architect Tadao Ando, which the team cites as a reference.

The style team produced Tang as a temporary installation for the Jejuannuale Nature and Media Annuale in 2013 but the structure stays in location.


Sensible Architecture and Nameless Architects both have offices in Seoul. Previous projects by Wise consist of a bamboo shrine for the victims of a ferry disaster, while other functions by Nameless contain a cross-shaped church and a school with a triangular courtyard.

Even though comparatively tiny, Jeju Island is also property to

Venture credits:

Architects: Sensible Architecture, Nameless Architecture, Taeseok Ha, Suin Yang
Artists: Byeongjun Kwon, Saehee Min, Jinu Park, Everyware (Yoonsil Heo, Hyeonwoo Bang)
Scientists: Seongjo Kwak, Daehee Kim, Hoyoung Kim, Hyeonkyeong Yang

Water-Basin-by-Wise-Architecture_dezeen_1_1Diagrams showing low tide Water-Basin-by-Wise-Architecture_dezeen_2_1Diagrams showing growing tide Water-Basin-by-Wise-Architecture_dezeen_3_1Section and elevation  Dezeen


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