On Saturday, 20 May, the 18th Biennale of Architecture in Venice opened its doors. In the German pavilion, which focuses on building in existing contexts and the recycling economy, also the Nutrient Harvester developed at Eawag is demonstrated. It processes the urine from two on-site dry separation toilets into fertiliser.
The Biennale of Architecture in Venice is one of the world’s most important architecture exhibitions and this year is entitled “Laboratory of the Future”. In addition to the main exhibitions curated by the Ghanaian-Scottish architect Lesley Lokko, around 60 countries are also represented with national contributions, including Switzerland and Germany. The German pavilion is curated by the architecture magazine ARCH+ and the architecture firms Summacumfemmer and Büro Juliane Greb and focuses on the care, renovation and maintenance of architectural heritage under the title “Open for Maintenance / Wegen Umbau geöffnet”. For example, the curators reused material from last year’s Biennale of Art to furnish the five rooms of the pavilion.
The theme of the recycling economy is also central to the “washroom”, one of the five rooms. It is equipped with a dry separation toilet and a urinal, both newly developed. The toilet from the German manufacturer Finizio does not require water and separates urine and faeces. The urinal was developed by two industrial design graduates from the Basel Academy of Art and Design. They were assisted by Michel Riechmann from the aquatic research institute Eawag, among others. The urinal also works without water and can be used by all genders – hence the name “Urin*all”. Both the dry separation toilet and the urinal are not only exhibits, but can also be used by visitors and pavilion employees.
The “washroom” of the German pavilion with dry separation toilet (photo left) and urinal (photo right).
(Photos: ARCH+ SUMMACUMMFEMMER BÜRO JULIANE GREB)
The Nutrient Harvester extracts around 1 kilogram of dry fertiliser from 30 litres of urine.
(Photo: ARCH+ SUMMACUMMFEMMER BÜRO JULIANE GREB)