How's the water?

A project for Design4DCity with 72 Hour Urban Action in Birzebbuga, Malta.

HOW'S THE WATER was a temporary installation and public event focusing on an abandoned passage that connects a residential area near the Shell reserve facility to the water of Pretty Bay, Birzebbuga. The installation extracts from the idea of a valley by creating two seating areas on either side of the walls with a path stretching in the middle. Over the ground of the valley hangs a disused boat creating a silent and intense image to inspire concepts of ‘a dream’.

​​​​​The avenue is a small passageway that leads from the port/ bay into a small residential area. The passage is close to unused from locals even because of its neglected state. To the east of the avenue there is shortly bar which has a regular clientele during  weekdays and the Shell reserve facility that adds to the noise pollution of the area. To the west and north of the avenue is a residential area, followed by a primary a school and the main piazza. To the south there is the water, most pedestrians enjoy walking along the promenade by the water. 
The site used to be a sandpit for the elderly to play a game of boċċi and when they left kids turned it into the neighbourhood football ground. It was then neglected by time and turned into soil, a fountain was installed for some time but removed and four plant pots placed by the local council are the only things that remained.

​​​​​​​The avenue is mostly empty, within a span of two hours there were  10 people passing through of which 10 were from our team. Most pedestrians walk along the sidewalk by the beach, with their dog or a friend/ family (18 in 30 mins). Not many kids were sighted. Most people seemed to be walking for pleasure rather than headed somewhere.
Near by there is a bridge closed off (fueling station)- will it be open to the public?
Rumors that it will close but not so sure- used by locals teens and kids to sneak in and jump into the water
Red, blue and yellow benches along the pedestrian road - perceived by one person as dangerous because there is no barrier from the cars. Some swimmers.
Locals meet and talk and interact in the streets- people sit on chairs outside their house.

​​​​​​​The passageway serves as a transition both visually and audibly moving from the residential and industrial machinery to the merged sounds of the Freeport and vehicles passing by, drowning the faint sound of the sea. The place feels like a side-chapel, secluded from the chaos that goes on around it. A wish for an intimate space that would pull passers by to a have a deeper interaction. The framed view of the Freeport, so uneasily close to shore feels like looking into some other reality between two buildings.
A boat hangs upturned, suspended in the air, gently moved by the wind
Light as if from a chapel, emanates from within
inviting the passer by to stop and dream of what could might be..

Fareeda Atwan (Cairo), Sarah Azzopardi (Valletta), Tania Belfiore (Ħal ​Luqa), William Bondin (Ħal ​Luqa), Paul Buhagiar (Birkirkara), Thrisianne Busuttil (Ħal ​Luqa), Kris Camilleri (Ħal ​Luqa), Aidan Celeste (Birżebbuġa), Mattea Ciantar (Birżebbuġa), Samuel Ciantar (Birżebbuġa), Kerem Halbrecht (Berlin), Tyler Jackson Calleja (Birżebbuġa), Gilly Karjevsky (Berlin), Martyna Komorowska (Wroclaw), Ann Laenen (Marsascala), Caldon Mercieca (Birkirkara), Mohamed Rahmo (Casablanca), Zachi Razel (Tel-Aviv), Jean-Michael Taillebois (Frieburg).​​​​​​​

[More photos here]