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Winner - Gold
Designer: Anderson & Anderson
Design Type: Water Retainment System
Company / Organization / School: Anderson Anderson Architecture
The Alluvial Sponge Comb is a waterfront landscape system to replace concrete levee walls. Instead of separating urban dwellers from the water’s edge, the Sponge Comb mediates the natural ebb and flow of water, allowing water access between the fingers when no danger is present, but swelling into a strongly anchored, shock absorbing dam as waters rise. The Sponge Comb’s fabric skin encases bladders containing a super-absorbent polymer. The long, thin ends of each finger dangle into the water, slowing the current enough for eroded earth to settle out, creating natural habitat at the water’s edge. Rising flood waters permeate the fabric and are absorbed by the polymer. The finger becomes engorged, creating a dam until flood water recedes. An elastic harness refolds the fabric without labor, allowing life to blossom along the water’s edge again.