Titicaca / Reflection of a country

  • LOCATION: Venice, Italy
  • AREA:
  • YEAR: 2015
  • PHOTO:

When parallels are drawn between the population and the presence of water, the figures are clear: 70% of the population lives beside the pacific basin where there is only 1.8% of the country´s water. It is calculated that 2000 litres are required per person, the minimum needed to produce food for one person. Only 30% of the population lives on the eastern side of the Andes, where 97.7% of the country’s water is located. The vast majority lives on the ‘dry’ side of the Andes, to a large extent because of the terrorism at the end of the last century which forced a mass exodus of populations from the mountains and jungle to seek refuge in the desert-like coastal regions. Today, Lima, like other cities on the coast, is under ever increasing pressure to supply its population with drinking water and is at breaking point. The population explosion and the lack of urban planning have created places which are at risk of both natural and man-made disasters such as El Niño, landslides and droughts. The pre-Hispanic cultures of the past possessed the knowledge to control their terrain. It is proposed, by means of comprehending the terrain of Peru as a whole, to search for a vision for the country of how to inhabit it better. The lake is a symbol of the 3 basins which hold all of the water in Peru; the Atlantic Ocean basin, the Pacific Ocean basin and Lake Titicaca. The strategic location and importance of the lake allows us to use it symbolically to organize the terrain. At the same time it is a window which shows the reality of architecture in Peru, which is not that successful at an international level. It also seeks to show the lake as a beautiful, mystical and potent element, attracting the attention of the visitors. The materiality: a surface of the water is created by joining transportable pieces to form the outlines of the lake with a waterproof seal. The surface of the water creates a screen, reflecting projections from the ceiling and walls of the pavilion. The reflected images are narratives of the conditions in which the Peruvian populations find themselves. The lake generates a path through the pavilion where the proposal is described through both written and built material. It is a huge problem on a national scale that affects all of Peru´s population that there is a lack of a minimum quality of life. It is closely related to the characteristic of Peru´s terrain, its natural resources, and how they are being used. To be able to revert the problem, the existing conditions need to be accepted and learned from whilst creating a future vision. Previous exhibitions have focused principally on the desert; in this exhibition it is demonstrated that the possibilities of the country don´t lie solely in the coastal regions and that there is a huge opportunity for improvement if the terrain is taken advantage of and inhabited by agreement in the correct way.

Proposal for the Peruvian Pavilion / Venice Biennale 2016. The proposal seeks to expose the housing problems in Peru as affected by the terrain and natural resources. It shows how the cities are distributed according to the geographical conditions of the Andean mountain range. Above all it seeks to show how the populations today are distributed and to question if it is sustainable.