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The shape of the water


The Po River is a living organism that breathes: it inhales and swells; it exhales and releases its energy. Between two extreme phases of overflow and shallows, there are endless variations. In Piacenza, at the riverside, hydrometric instruments also took size and shape of a special building in reinforced concrete crowned by conical elements. When the water level rises, it floods the earth gradually; it deletes some marks lapping, and then reveals other things. The water clears and continuously constructs, in a surreal atmosphere of expectation, always in the balance between the catastrophe and the regeneration of a soil that emerges like an archaeological plan. Visible volumes are like the iceberg tips: clues to an underwater world. The human contemplation of this landscape in motion stops instants in a time that seems eternal. But a picture from the same point of view never is identical. During the OC International Summer School 2016, our design team represented these hypothetical temporal fragments through models and drawings in order to design architectures able to measure the mutations.