Winner of the 1994 St. Paul Prize Competition, sponsored by the St. Paul Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.
The 1994 St. Paul Prize Competition asked participants to design a water tower for Barrett, a small town in Northern Minnesota that has a history in the logging industry. The project is a theoretical investigation of architecture.
Although the competition’s program emphasized the town’s history as an important part of its identity, this water tower proposal suggests a break from history and attempts to create something unique and fresh. It suggests the idea that Barrett can be a town with both historical context, and a place free of that as well. This proposal suggests something new, something exotic and bizarre, and something with new life.
Strangely, the exterior shell, or exoskeleton of a water tower’s reservoir has a fascinating kinship with the exoskeleton of a beetle, and the long slender supports of a water tower aren’t so unlike an insect’s long spindly legs. For this project, reinterpreting the forms, details and materials of a water tower through the forms and imagery of a beetle and other insects resulted in a unique, and eccentric expression.