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University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering

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Cullen College Professor Discusses World’s Largest Indoor Waterfall with WIRED Magazine

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Natalie Thayer
Photo courtesy of Changi Airport and Safdie Architects

Singapore’s Changi Airport, voted the world’s best airport for the fourth consecutive year, already offers travelers a wide array of top-notch amenities, including a rooftop pool, 24-hour cinema, butterfly garden and multiple spas. But in 2018, the airport will unveil its newest attraction – the world’s tallest indoor waterfall called the Rain Vortex.

The nine-story waterfall, designed by WET architect Moshe Safdie, will be housed in a glass donut-shaped building and will use rain water collected from the airport’s rooftop. 

To learn more about the complex engineering required to realize this design, WIRED Magazine interviewed UH Cullen College of Engineering associate professor Arturo Leon, a civil and environmental engineer who specializes in hydraulic engineering. Leon spoke to WIRED about the structure and design of weirs – barriers that look like miniature waterfalls commonly used to alter the flow of rivers.

“The hydraulics are very simple, but the architecture is very, very impressive,” said Leon. It’s the conceptual leap from small weirs to the massive Rain Vortex that makes the whole project interesting, writes WIRED’s Sarah Zhang.

Read the full WIRED article online at https://www.wired.com/2016/09/fit-worlds-biggest-indoor-waterfall-airport/

WIRED Magazine explores the impact of emerging technologies on business, culture, design, products, science, security and transportation. The magazine boasts a monthly circulation of nearly 1 million.

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