Slovenian Pavilion at the
Venice Biennale 2018
The interactive water fountain at the Slovenian pavilion at the Venice Biennale is a reinterpretation of an iconic yet unbuilt work by Jože Plečnik (1872- 1957), using the design for a national parliament to rethink the global issue of water treatment and its relationship to architecture. Some Place Studio co-authored and designed the interactive installation.
SPS DESIGN TEAMBika Rebek, Tim Daniel Battelino, Pam Anantrungroj , Lucia Tahan, Daniel Prost
Living with water is a daily fact of life in Slovenia, more than it might seem at first glance. Water – from rivers to glacial lakes, waterfalls, torrents, gullies, bogs, disappearing lakes, bays, karst and thermal springs – is one of the most potent and decisive factors determining both Slovenia’s landscapes and its supply of drinking water. Water is linked to myriad myths and the subconscious, to thought and creativity, to politics and protest. At the same time, water is full of opposites.
Because of water, life in Slovenia is enjoyable and satisfying, but at the same time water represents a particular danger. Nearly 160,000 Slovenian inhabitants live in flood-prone areas and some 50 to 70 floods of varying sizes affect Slovenia every year. Forecasts show, however, that with more frequent and more intense extreme weather events, these numbers will continue to grow. At the same time, the right to drinking water has been enshrined in the Constitution since 2016 and almost one-fifth of Slovenia's territory is protected in order to safeguard drinking water resources. On the other hand, many concessions for the management of important water resources have been granted to corporations.
A multidisciplinary team of 13 architects, landscape architects, urban planners, researchers and strategists explores and discusses the relationship between architecture and water, both past and present, as well as what a relationship should look like in the future. How to re-think water management and the protection of water resources? By understanding all the complexity and interconnectedness of natural and anthropogenic water systems and by developing alternative models, can we create a new, fairer, safer and less invasive living environment? Water management requires the input of informed people and important political decisions. The controversial and notorious unrealised Slovenian Parliament building by architect Jože Plečnik, which incorporates a fountain hidden under the main hall designed as and meant to represent a mythical source of wisdom for the deputies, seems like an ideal space to talk about these pressing issues.