Wednesday, August 3, 2011


It rains almost every day in the summer, the subtropical wet season. For thirty minutes or so, water pours from the sky in thick, intense waves, often accompanied by lightning and thunder displays like nothing we’ve ever seen. And then the skies clear, the brilliant sunlight returns, and it’s time to hunt rainbows. The weather is as alien as the flora and fauna, and just as compelling to us as designers.

We designed two of our outdoor spaces – the front porch and the side patio – as covered refuges from which to watch the storms. The rain can be peaceful and the lightning can be terrifying. The change in light between the cool, even grays of the overcast skies and the brilliant hues of the direct sunlight, with its deep and intense shadows, can be thrilling to watch.

And then there’s the benefit of harvesting rainwater to use as drinking water inside the house. Our cistern and filter system should provide about a third of our water over the course of a year, with most of it coming in the summer.

Here's footage from a typical summer storm:

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