This fall Mantova, Italian Capital of Culture 2016, will activate the city’s lakes through Arcipelago di Ocno, a new aquatic installation on the city’s waterfront by Genoa-based studio Space Caviar led by Joseph Grima.
The aquatic installation opened last Sunday, September 11, with a special performance of Mantova’s Chamber Orchestra hosted by Mayor Mattia Palazzi, the Councillor for Urban Regeneration of the City of Mantova Lorenza Baroncelli and the President of Fondazione Mantova Capitale Europea dello Spettacolo Francesco Ghisi.
The archipelago of floating islands is intended to function as an aquatic piazza for the city, extending Mantova’s urban fabric onto the lakes that surround its historic centre. Throughout the autumn season it will host concerts, events, performances, lectures and screenings on Mantova’s lakes, transforming them from a picturesque backdrop to an active site of urban life.
The islands form modular units which can be reconfigured, relocated and extended according to the activities they host, and will continue to provide a venue for Mantova’s cultural activities in years to come.
“Following our work on the Rio, the city’s inner canal, and the lakes, we want Mantova to rebuild its relationship with its waterfront”, said Mayor Palazzi. “We are doing this both through public investments and cultural programs.
The Archipelago will function as an extension of the urban fabric onto the lakes, providing the city with a set of floating piazzas that will grow over the coming years, giving the city a versatile new venue for events and activities.”
“Mantova’s citizens have been deprived for too many years of the pleasure to fully enjoy the relationship with water – adds the Councillor for Urban Regeneration Baroncelli. “The archipelago will be a new, significant step in the effort to absorb the lakes into Mantova’s urban and social fabric.
In addition, the archipelago finally represents an element of artistic and cultural innovation with a great international appeal alongside the city’s most historical beauties.”
The archipelago is named after Ocno – a demigod son of Manto and the god river Mincio. Legend has it that in honor of his deceased mother, Ocno founded the city of Mantova on the river Mincio, where he fled after his father was recalled to live among his fellow Gods. Source by Joseph Grima/Space Caviar.
- Location: Mantova, Italy
- Architects: Joseph Grima/Space Caviar
- Year: 2016
- Photographs: Andrea Bosio, Siglacom, Courtesy of Joseph Grima/Space Caviar
Article by Marco Rinaldi