The first pilot project was built in April 2016 located at the Sitio ROBERTO Burle Marx, home to prolific Brazilian architect, Roberto Burle Marx.

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In April 2016 we began construction on a prototype for the Água Carioca system at the Sitio Roberto Burle Marx. By virtue of their renowned reputation as scientific institution and profound knowledge of plants the Sitio Roberto Burle Marx proved to be the ideal partner for such a project. The project was supported by the Stimuleringsfond NL.

The pilot is installed next to the guesthouse Roberto Burle Marx built for his brother. The house is located adjacent to the nurseries and the shade houses where numerous tropical species are grown. The house is now functioning as an office for scientists and will double up as a place for artists in residence in the future. The installation is implementing the full cycle of the holistic Água Carioca strategy: A bathroom (sink + toilet) is connected to a new recycling system, consisting of rainwater collection for the roof of the guest house, a rain water storage tank, a septic tank connected to the new toilet and sink, a constructed wetland and a water tank for the recycled effluent and rain water. 

The aim of the pilot is to create a functioning pilot that deepens insights into the system’s functioning while making it simultaneously more widely accepted by the general public. 

Since it's creation, Ooze architects, along with local partners, have hosted several visits to the site, and the area is open to all visitors of the Sitio. For a period of time, the Sitio also hosted an exhibition of the Água Carioca project. To arrange a visit to the pilot, contact the Sitio Roberto Burle Marx.

We think that we should dominate nature, fight against her, so as to not be dominated by her. It so happens that the alternative ‘master or slave’ does not correspond to the reality of the matter. The road that ecology points out to us is that of being nature’s partner.
— Roberto Burle Marx

About the Sitio Burle Marx

The Sitio Roberto Burle Marx is located in Barra da Guaratiba, a West Zone neighborhood of the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and is the former home of Roberto Burle Marx. He is considered to be the most important landscape designer of the 20th century, world-renowned by his tropical gardens and various means of expression.  The Sitio Roberto Burle Marx houses Burle Marx’s extraordinary plant collection, as well as a large part of his artistic works and his house with its furniture, art collections and personal belongings. In 1985, with the objective of preserving his life’s work, Roberto Burle-Marx donated the whole property to the Brazilian government who since then has been responsible for its maintenance and for fulfilling Burle Marx’s will, by constituting the Sitio as centre for research and learning in the fields of landscape design, botany and conservation of nature.


Read more about the design proposals

Films explaining Água Carioca and how it works