SPIRO TUNNEL

Location : Park City, Utah
Area : 8,700 sf
Program : Water treatment facility with city offices

In the prideful tradition of the neo-gothic Water Tower in Chicago and the neo-classical Water Works of Philadelphia, this facility, bowing to the current attention to ecological concerns, reclaims its building type’s lost civic status – returns it not only to a location inside city limits, but also to prominence.  A diverted stream courses across the street facing (south elevation of a low pitched, long-span gabled shed, the ridge of which twists ninety degrees from that of its golf course maintenance building context, and erodes away a considerable wedge west to east, leaving transparent glass and revealing a still life of colorful and spit-shined pumps and filters.  Water enforcement offices and laboratory hover south and above the eroded slash, in a matter more of rights and the law than its actual existence and/or volume. Directly below the tower is a fixed metal grate, just above diverted stream, a park like amphitheater complete with creosoted columns as trees, and an aural, visual and tactile of the material in question: a classroom where tours begin and end. A population educated in the expense, effort and energy spent to provide it hot and cold running, wastes not.  Xeriscaping embellishes the project’s attempt to tell “the story of water.”