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Idea by

Helen Tartaglia and Nasra Abdullahi

Helen Tartaglia

Somerset House, London, United Kingdom
Formally trained in design, Helen has developed a hybrid practice focusing on some of the most challenging issues faced by urban society. Through this research Helen offers alternatives that alter our perception of the city and how we inhabit it. Currently studying her Part 1 in architecture, Nasra is fascinated by the inherent power dynamics behind the ordinary person’s relationship to public infrastructure. She is also currently part of the 2019 New Architecture Writers.

Hydro Commons


Public Place-Making for London

Hydro Commons


Public Place-Making for London
Hydro Commons proposes reframing how the city thinks about excess rainwater; instead of seeing it as an environmental threat we would like to use it as a community resource.
File under
Type of project
  • Systemic changes

Hydro Commons is the result of an exploration into the future of public space in London. Instead of designing away adverse environmental conditions, we propose incorporating it into London’s public spaces.

Rainwater is a public material owned by nobody. As soon as it hits the floor, it is redirected into privately owned or managed resources such as our sewage systems and the River Thames. London is increasingly under threat of flooding and as the city grows our green spaces disappear to make way for concrete ones. The infrastructure cannot cope with the excess of water and people, as a result, during heavy rainfall water floods out of the sewers onto the streets and into the rivers.

We propose Hydro Commons as a collection of micro public spaces (1500mm x 1500mm x 160mm). The surface of the tank is adaptable to its desired use, whilst the tank underneath stores and
re-purposes water. The simplicity of the tank means a typology of spaces can be created.


Hydro Commons


Public Place-Making for London

Hydro Commons


Public Place-Making for London
Hydro Commons proposes reframing how the city thinks about excess rainwater; instead of seeing it as an environmental threat we would like to use it as a community resource.
File under
Type of project
  • Systemic changes

Hydro Commons is the result of an exploration into the future of public space in London. Instead of designing away adverse environmental conditions, we propose incorporating it into London’s public spaces.

Rainwater is a public material owned by nobody. As soon as it hits the floor, it is redirected into privately owned or managed resources such as our sewage systems and the River Thames. London is increasingly under threat of flooding and as the city grows our green spaces disappear to make way for concrete ones. The infrastructure cannot cope with the excess of water and people, as a result, during heavy rainfall water floods out of the sewers onto the streets and into the rivers.

We propose Hydro Commons as a collection of micro public spaces (1500mm x 1500mm x 160mm). The surface of the tank is adaptable to its desired use, whilst the tank underneath stores and
re-purposes water. The simplicity of the tank means a typology of spaces can be created.



Idea by

Helen Tartaglia and Nasra Abdullahi
Helen Tartaglia
Somerset House
London
United Kingdom
Formally trained in design, Helen has developed a hybrid practice focusing on some of the most challenging issues faced by urban society. Through this research Helen offers alternatives that alter our perception of the city and how we inhabit it. Currently studying her Part 1 in architecture, Nasra is fascinated by the inherent power dynamics behind the ordinary person’s relationship to public infrastructure. She is also currently part of the 2019 New Architecture Writers.