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Upturned Naumachie: Monuments coming into life from the essence of life

Collaboration with: Valeria Paez Cala

Media: Illustration Competition Non Architecture

State: Honor Award

Location: Rome, Italy

Once upon a time, in the Ancient Roman world, some monuments such as the Coliseum during emperor Domitian were flooded to stage and celebrate naval victories. These massive water infrastructure projects, called Naumachie, aimed to glorify territorial dominion and nature control by the brutal strength of men and its technologies. 


Upturned-Naumachie aims to revert this dynamic and proposes to have biodiversity as the central stage and ceremony. It honors the coexistence between territories, cultures, and species rather than its dominion and prevalence. It honors life in its multiple forms, but above all, it honors water as its fundamental foundation.


The project centers on making visible the importance of water and imagines an ecosystem restoration through an aquatic system that connects water from rain, rivers, and seas through Rome’s monuments making them life reservoirs. After all, all the roads lead to Rome and water is the liveliest road of all.


By re-imagining the relationship between human and nature through the correlation between monuments and water, the project re-images a Rome that monumentalizes life over death, biodiversity over control, connection over division. An Eternal City, like an eternal return, where life emerges in the same way as she emerges from life. 

KeyWords: #WaterSystem #EcosystemRestoration #Monuments #LifeReservoirs #Biodiversity

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