Jacques Rougerie Database

Sea has NO borders A floating public area


Sea has NO borders A floating public area

  • Year2013
  • LocationPatras

The Floating Square The 10,000 sq. m. quay will be easily transformed in a floating public square where for the first time the citizens will be able to see their city from another perspective; that one of the sea. It will be the bigger open air gathering space across the city with a vast capacity for hosting some the most well known events. This square is divided in parts of slightly different heights; only a few millimeters to differ between each other. In long term and in the unlikely case of further sea level rising one by one these parts will be sinking below the sea level decreasing the area of the square and leaving less and less space for citizen's public activities. Each of these parts will have engraved with names of the cities worldwide of the same level and once underwater that will mean that their habitants should have moved out of their houses. The more cities of the same level the bigger the part dedicated to the square. This stands as a reminder to the visitors that somewhere in the globe thousands of people lost their houses only by a few millimeters of water! Finally, at the end of the piazza there will be an open air theatre, ideal for the pleasant warm summers of Greece. Its capacity will be 425 persons in year 2013 but it will be going down as the sea level rises.

The Multiplex Centre The 150m long ramp rising in 20m height is definitely the first to catch your attention as you are approaching the building. It comes as an extension of a quite important road axis of the city ending to the coastline. After mounting the ramp visitors find the reception of the centre providing every kind of information. Three cinema halls, one performance theatre, one auditorium, exhibition spaces, restaurants, café and bars are among the facilities of the centre. Interesting for further description is the Global Sea Level Rising Awareness hall and the vast undersea gallery space. The first is a unique space that aims to alert people about the problem through a living experience, exactly what the mass media cannot do via words. It is a quite dark room with one and only window facing the sea. The floor is under the sea level and visitors can see underwater. The show tries to provide an alerting experience to the visitors which can hopefully make them change their attitude towards global warming. The trick is in the double glazier where sea water is pumped via a hidden system and fills in the vacuum in between giving the illusion of the sea level rising. Together with an audiovisual presentation explaining the reasons of global warming the visitors can experience the awkward feeling of being under sea level while millions of tones of seawater are going higher in front of their eyes. At the end of the show the exit indicator lights on over a door facing the flooded exterior in an attempt to emphasize the fact that there will be no escape in the future.

We are talking about a recreation space where visitors can attend a concert, a dance performance, visiting a gallery or watching a movie. We want people to have fun there and enjoy any activities taking place. However, in each and every corner of this project they experience the battle between land and sea and they can feel that this issue needs their full attention as it may end to be catastrophic for planet earth. It is an experience happening in the background but it's the one to remember once they go back home.


Team members: George Dimitralopoulos