Phantasma – Liquid Architecture
The idea of an architecture made of water is building on a paradox. Water is fluid and hardly suitable for stable, three-dimensional room constructions. The Installation “Phantasma” overrides this assumption: the large dome formed entirely of water is not an illusion, but real. Nature, space, and technology enter into an overwhelming connection that turns our everyday experience on its head. The flowing space does create not only a new perceptual situation of unexpected sensuous intensity but also a superposition of different levels of reality, through which fundamental coherences are reflected and catalyzes emotional experiences.
The installation is not bound to a specific location. Depending on its side, its connotation can vary between a spectacular and illusionist or a more purist and nature-bound one. In any case, it represents a surprising and alien appearance, an abstract form that is integrated directly into the surrounding water surface.
The visitor enters the installation via a long, narrow bridge, which lies a few centimeters above the water surface and leads to a circular platform measuring approx. 30 m. From its center protrudes a 20 m long slender glass tube, through which water from below with high pressure against a plate attached to the upper end is passed. There, the water is deflected horizontally evenly to all sides, creating a closed, thin cover of water, in the form of a hemisphere.
The acoustic experience of the installation already sets in, long before the visitor approaches the dome.
The loud noise let you experience the deluge of water, which descend from the heights on to the surface of the lake. Its sensual effect is in direct opposition to the volatility of its material structure.
The visitor experiences an irritating spatial experience when entering the transparent hemisphere. Usually, rooms are stable. But this is formed from a liquid material. The form follows the laws of nature. It seems to be stable, but it can easily break open and lose its unity due to external influences (such as wind). The charm of this installation arises from this contrast of stability and instability, the physical presence of liquid matter and the immediate transience of its appearance
The sphere, as a perfect spatial form, is one of the most significant and oldest symbols of human civilization. Without beginning and end, it stands for the conquest of time and space and the cyclical movement of renewal. In a way, water has a similar symbolism. It is the beginning of all life and a symbol of the constant movement, exchange, and change.
Even though the installation has an abstract and geometrical-model character, it also creates a concrete and multi-layered reality, which is perceived individually by the visitors, but also as a shared experience. Experience and reflection, peace and noise, movement and statics, form and material combine to form a unity. Technically, it could be defined as a temporary architectural projection.