To address problematics of E. coli contamination in

Triglav National Park we started to explore possible

vernacular principles which would be viable within

the constraints of the location.

We decided to dig into mechanical water filtration

with two different types of materials that can act as

filtrators – XYLEM TISSUE and POROUS


We imagined water filtration very simply: contaminated water

enters a filter in which particles are retained in the pores.

Purified water flows out of the filter.

First material we used as a water filter was xylem tissue from pine

and spruce wood. Since xylem tissue allows water to flow

through while blocking most types of contaminants that are

bigger than 70 nm, sapwood can filter out more than 99 % of E.

coli bacteria.

The spruce tree filters were used also because of the tree

species being widespread in Slovenia.

Photo by Bor Cvetko

Making a xylem filter.

Xylem filters also have their drawbacks. The filters have to be

swapped out regularly because the bacteria saturate the wood

which then loses its ability to filter the water. The filters also must

not dry out otherwise they also lose the ability to filter water.

Ceramic filters are affordable and sustainable, furthermore they

are also more versatile than xylem filters, however they must be

regularly cleaned to function properly. Small pore structure of

ceramic filters removes up to 99 % of bacteria, sediments and

turbidity but at the same time doesn’t remove minerals.

Photo by Bor Cvetko

Making a ceramic filter.

Stemming from material experimentation the process of form

exploration began with the help of generative design and 3D clay

printing technology.

Photo by Bor Cvetko

The goal was to generate forms that would act as scaffolding for

the water, enable and improve water permeability and enable

water movement and its upwards directed flow. To take

advantage of hydraulic pressure under the surface, the

underwater objects were designed in a way which enables water

absorption through the entire surface of the structure.

Polluted water enters the facility from all sides.