MATSYS

Sietch Nevada

Sectional perspective of underground city

Sectional perspective of underground city

View of the urban life amoun the water bank canals

View of the urban life among the water bank canals

Site plan

Site plan

Plan, above ground (left) and below ground (right)

Plan, above ground (left) and below ground (right)

Site model

Site model

Detail of site model

Detail of site model

Year: 2009
Location: 37°46’20.10″N, 117°31’57.38″W
Exhibition: Out of Water | innovative technologies in arid climates at the University of Toronto

Description: In Frank Herbert’s famous1965 novel Dune, he describes a planet that has undergone nearly complete desertification. Dune has been called the “first planetary ecology novel” and forecasts a dystopian world without water. The few remaining inhabitants have secluded themselves from their harsh environment in what could be called subterranean oasises. Far from idyllic, these havens, known as sietch, are essentially underground water storage banks. Water is wealth in this alternate reality. It is preciously conserved, rationed with strict authority, and secretly hidden and protected.

Although this science fiction novel sounded alien in 1965, the concept of a water-poor world is quickly becoming a reality, especially in the American Southwest. Lured by cheap land and the promise of endless water via the powerful Colorado River, millions have made this area their home. However, the Colorado River has been desiccated by both heavy agricultural use and global warming to the point that it now ends in an intermittent trickle in Baja California. Towns that once relied on the river for water have increasingly begun to create underground water banks for use in emergency drought conditions. However, as droughts are becoming more frequent and severe, these water banks will become more than simply emergency precautions.

Sietch Nevada projects waterbanking as the fundamental factor in future urban infrastructure in the American Southwest. Sietch Nevada is an urban prototype that makes the storage, use, and collection of water essential to the form and performance of urban life. Inverting the stereotypical Southwest urban patterns of dispersed programs open to the sky, the Sietch is a dense, underground community. A network of storage canals is covered with undulating residential and commercial structures. These canals connect the city with vast aquifers deep underground and provide transportation as well as agricultural irrigation. The caverns brim with dense, urban life: an underground Venice. Cellular in form, these structures constitute a new neighborhood typology that mediates between the subterranean urban network and the surface level activities of water harvesting, energy generation, and urban agriculture and aquaculture. However, the Sietch is also a bunker-like fortress preparing for the inevitable wars over water in the region.

Credit: Andrew Kudless (Design), Nenad Katic (Visualization), Tan Nguyen, Pia-Jacqlyn Malinis, Jafe Meltesen-Lee, Benjamin Barragan (Model)

Responses (41) to “Sietch Nevada”

  1. [...] Nevada Wer Dune gelesen hat, der weiss worauf sich die Leute von Matsys (genauer Credit: Andrew Kudless (Design), Nenad Katic (Visualization), Tan Nguyen, Pia-Jacqlyn [...]

  2. [...] My Ninja, Please! just posted about a project I completely love: Sietch Nevada. [...]

  3. [...] via BLDGBLOG and MATSYSdesign [...]

  4. [...] Sietch Nevada is a futuristic concept city that envisions a dystopian water-hoarding society where drought is a constant state and wars are fought over water. Designed by Matsys Designs, the underground city is situated within a network of tunnels and caverns that offer protection and water storage, creating an oasis in the desert. The dense underground community includes a network of waterways and canals enclosed by residential and commercial cavern structures that forms an underground Venice so to speak. [...]

  5. [...] a show at the University of Toronto, architect Andrew Kudless has drawn on Herbert to design a dystopian future urban world in which we southwesterners dig down, building underground to preserv…: Sietch Nevada is an urban prototype that makes the storage, use, and collection of water essential [...]

  6. [...] Nevada: Desert Oasis for a Drought-Stricken Future (Inhabitat): Sietch Nevada is a futuristic concept city that envisions a dystopian water-hoarding society where drought is a [...]

  7. [...] convirtiendo en una realidad palpable. Tiendo en cuenta estos problemas Matsys Designs presentan la ciudad conceptual Sietch Nevada en la exposición “Out of Water | innovative technologies in arid climates” organizada por la [...]

  8. [...] convirtiendo en una realidad palpable. Tiendo en cuenta estos problemas Matsys Designs presentan la ciudad conceptual Sietch Nevada en la exposición “Out of Water | innovative technologies in arid climates” organizada por la [...]

  9. [...] convirtiendo en una realidad palpable. Tiendo en cuenta estos problemas Matsys Designs presentan la ciudad conceptual Sietch Nevada en la exposición “Out of Water | innovative technologies in arid climates” organizada por la [...]

  10. [...] by Matsys Designs, Sietch Nevada is a response to the idea of a water-poor world becoming a reality, especially in the American [...]

  11. [...] encontrar más información sobre el proyecto y el equipo de arquitectos que lo ha ideado en su web oficial. #gallery-1 { margin: auto; } #gallery-1 .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top: 10px; [...]

  12. [...] by San Francisco-based Andrew Kudless of Matsys Designs, ‘Sietch Nevada’ is a response to the idea of a water-poor world becoming a reality, [...]

  13. [...] by Matsys Designs, Sietch Nevada is a response to the idea of a water-poor world becoming a reality, especially in the American [...]

  14. [...] by Matsys Designs, Sietch Nevada is a response to the idea of a water-poor world becoming a reality, especially in the American [...]

  15. [...] This page presents an underground desert world for the future Southwest US. Exceptionally good looking. Seems as though the future of the Southwest is to finally just move into the shopping mall. Environment, Housing — [...]

  16. [...] up, we have the underground city of the future. In the post apocalyptic American Southwest, these underground cities will harbor [...]

  17. [...] quite a while since I’ve read Dune. I found my way to this interesting conceptualization, Seitch Nevada, through my regular StumbleUpon clicking. For those not familiar with Dune by Frank Herbert, please [...]

  18. [...] You may have already seen this, but I saw this design project and thought you might enjoy it. When I saw it, I immediately thought about how you occasionally stress that we should be attempting to colonize the deserts, oceans, mountains, Antarctica and so on (as in your post The Chilly Frontier), before we attempt Mars or something– since it would be much cheaper and easier. Likewise, it sorta kinda reminded me of vertical farming. The images also look a bit like those 1970’s NASA space habitat illustrations you use in posts from time to time: http://matsysdesign.com/2009/06/25/sietch-nevada/ [...]

  19. [...] в счете эти проблемы Матсис Десигнс они представляют концептуальный город Сьеч Невада в выставке “Out of Туалет | innovative technologies in arid climates” [...]

  20. [...] sona yaklaşırken Posted in çöl by enip on 27 Sep 2009 sietch nevada [...]

  21. [...] Credit: Andrew Kudless (Design), Nenad Katic (Visualization), Tan Nguyen, Pia-Jacqlyn Malinis, Jafe Meltesen-Lee, Ben (Model) Matsys, Sietch Nevada [...]

  22. [...] From Sietch Nevada by Matsys; renderings by Nenad [...]

  23. [...] Andrew Kudless of Matsys recently proposed an extraordinarily beautiful desert city of semi-subterranean terraced geometries inspired by the novel Dune. [...]

  24. [...] drawn as a possible habitation for what is currently the richest nation on earth. The people in the pictures look clean and well-fed, but I can’t help thinking they’d look more fitting with a bit [...]

  25. [...] Kaynak: http://matsysdesign.com/2009/06/25/sietch-nevada/ Etiketler: Sietch Nevada / Matsys designs [...]

  26. [...] Sietch Nevada « MATSYS Sietch Nevada « MATSYS "In Dune, Frank Herbert describes a planet that has undergone nearly complete desertification." http://bit.ly/1tPqf3 [from http://twitter.com/kenmat/statuses/3999823924 (tags: tweecious UnitedStates FrankHerbert ColoradoRiver Nevada SanFrancisco UniversityofToronto SietchNevada Dune) [...]

  27. [...] factor. The bridge has been structurally damaged. I know this is off topic from the OP but Underground communities in Nevada desert. [...]

  28. [...] already mapped out a scheme for a sub-terrain community for when shit hits the fan. Welcome to Sietch Nevada, living in the dessie never looked so [...]

  29. [...] Nevada Underground, Nothing Like Seattle Grunge Nothing beats the dessert heat like cool refreshing water. Prediction: pale white is the new tan. (matsys design . . .) [...]

  30. [...] “prototipo”, bautizado como Sietch Nevada, propone nada más y nada menos que un nuevo modelo de ciudad subterránea que se ubicaría en el [...]

  31. [...] peculiar willingness to live in a dystopian, water-starved future aside, the Sietch Nevada – designed by MATSYS for “Out of Water: Innovative technologies in arid [...]

  32. [...] Se vi viene lo sconforto (o il terrore) pensando agli scenari apocalittici ipotizzati dall’UNEP (United Nations Enviroment Programme), secondo il quale dai prossimi dieci anni un quarto del Pianeta sarà vittima di massiccia desertificazione e circa 50milioni di persone saranno alle prese con il problema della scarsità d’acqua, sappiate che è inutile imballare la cantina di casa con riserve di bottiglie d’acqua. Potete invece consolarvi con Sietch Nevada. [...]

  33. [...] by San Francisco-based Andrew Kudless of Matsys Designs, ‘Sietch Nevada’ is a response to the idea of a water-poor world becoming a reality, [...]

  34. [...] that use hexagonal grids as the basis of their urban plans. Just take a look at Matsys‘s Sietch Nevada. Based on Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel Dune, they have projected waterbanking as the fundamental [...]

  35. [...] Via: Matsysdesign / Inhabitat [...]