Bologna Water Design: flowing through marble

Philippe Daverio, Jacopo Muzio, Henraux: „The Imaginary Bath“.

(December 2013) It was the third parallel Bologna Water Design accompanying the Cersaie Trade Fair in the Italian town (23rd – 28th September 2013). This is an art event which takes place throughout the city center and spread over several venues, during the course of which such themes as water consumption, water out of doors, water depletion, etc. are expounded. In contrast to the name, the event is not about design but rather about art by well-known artists as well as newcomers on the scene. A number of companies sponsor the projects. The event is supported by the fair.

The only installation revolving around natural stone was „The Imaginary Bath“ by Philippe Daverio, an art critic, architects Jacopo Muzio, and Henraux Company founded 1821, one of Massa-Carrara’s moguls.

Philippe Daverio, Jacopo Muzio, Henraux: „The Imaginary Bath“.

An 18th century Rococo chapel was the venue of choice. Fountains were installed on 3 sides from which strong streams of water spouted, running through channels and converging in the center of the room in an oval bench.

The installation was conceived to convey a sensuous experience: the sound of water flowing through the unused interior, two types of the noblest marble enduring the wear and tear of time within the semi-darkness of the former chapel from yesterday to today.

Philippe Daverio, Jacopo Muzio, Henraux: „The Imaginary Bath“.

Another meaningful detail was the low-relief on the natural stone making reference to Turkish harem Odalisques often used as a motif the 19th century paintings.

Michele De Lucchi, Hi-Macs: „Homage to the Imagination“.

Designer Michele de Lucchi used a thoroughly modern material for his work by the title of „Homage to the Imagination“, i.e. engineered Hi-Macs stone made of aluminum material and recently brought on the market by Korean LG Hausys Company.

Michele De Lucchi, Hi-Macs: „Homage to the Imagination“.

Inspired by the natural landscape surrounding the city of Bologna, De Lucchi emulated the rolling hills in snow-white engineered stone for his installation. Three modules, each 3 m long were set up end to end, made possible thanks to the properties of Hi-Macs which can be glued and subsequently sanded to a seemingly seamless surface.

Another distinguishing factor of this innovative material is its moldability. According to the manufacturer’s product description it has practically no pores.

Studio Benaglia+Orefice, Geberit: „Unaware Fountains“.

Studio Benaglia+Orefice, Geberit: „Unaware Fountains“.

Two other installations of the 15 or so submissions are worth special mention: „Unaware Fountains“ by Studio Benaglia+Orefice and Geberit Company is all about saving water…,

Cibicworkshop, Lea Ceramiche, Luceplan: „Elephountain“.

… and „Elephountain“ by Cibicworkshop in cooperation with Lea Ceramiche and Luceplan Companies is elf-explanatory. Above the trunks, one can see the savanna perhaps a precursor to today’s brush.

Bologna Water Design (22nd-27th September 2014)

Photos: Valeria Portinari

(27.12.2013, USA: 12.27.2013)