Some people put out pails and bins to collect rainwater when it rains. Others, like the folks of MARS architects, put out benches. They’re very different objects, but they serve the same purpose: to collect rainwater which will be used to water plants, wash cars, hose down driveways, and so on and so forth.
So you might be wondering, how does a bench collect rainwater? Well, it’s all in the cushions. The bench MARS came up with features grooves and seams that direct the water into inlet buttons. The collected water is stored in an underground tank and in the aboveground tank (which is, essentially, the bench.)
The benches are available in three capacities: 500 liters, 1,000 liters, and 1,800 liters, each of which is recommended for certain locations to maximize their usefulness.
The smallest unit does not even require any ground work, and is best equipped for roadside installation; the medium size includes an underground tank and is well-suited for gardens and greenhouses; and the largest one is appropriate for public parks and playgrounds.
The bench came to be after MARS was commissioned by the BMW guggenheim lab to join in on the think tank’s vision to come up with innovations that would benefit cities and urban environments.