Water Loop

Workshop Pavia (IT) - "Adaptable Campus-City" - Workshop Site 3


Luis Palacios (ES), Winner in Höganäs (SE) with "Twinphenomena" and Runner-up in Wien-Siemensäcker (AT) with "Urban Software"
Alessandro Deana (IT), Andres Holguin (IT), Runner-up in Venezia (IT) with "Innesti urbani"
Yoann Dupouy (FR), Maia Tuur (EE), Winner in Paris-Saclay (FR) with "Reversing the Grid"
Eduard Balcells (ES), Honorata Grzesikowska (PL), Winner in Barcelona (ES) with "Ramblas verdes"
Luis Masià (ES), Runner-up in Seraing (BE) with "Synergie"
Elizabeth Keller (NL), Winner in Groningen (NL) with "Prelude"

Coach: Stéphane Bonzani (FR)
Assistant: Elena Romano (IT)


The Ticino River South of the historical centre of Pavia is meant to play a new role in the urban development of the city. Still, a certain number of obstacles prevent its integration in the city’s projects – particularly the risks of floods that have obliged the inhabitants of Pavia, from the foundation of the city until now, to build a very strong physical barrier (the fortifications) as well as a mental one between their territory and the river’s. The city of Pavia is better known for its historical heritage and its university than for its links with the Ticino. Besides, the district located South of the river is still regularly under water, as it is less protected than the city centre up North. All this contributes to hide the potentialities of the Ticino.
Today, Pavia wishes to turn towards this natural element that played a major role in its development without ever acquiring the importance it deserves. Some already use the banks for water or recreational activities and events are also sometimes organised, demonstrating a certain interest for this space. But the city wants to go further and this is precisely the issue of this workshop: exploring scenarios able to reinvent strong links between the city and the river. The question of sharing this potentially rich milieu lies at the heart of the investigations.

Water Loop

Download the PDF here


The particularly rich hydrology of the territory of Pavia was the basis of the team’s reflection. Besides the Ticino River, a canal –the Naviglio– and a small tributary river –the Navigliaccio– indeed surround the city and, although progressively integrated into its urbanization, they all nowadays constitute a visible loop on the maps of the city. This loop –concentrating the highest rate of potential project sites– becomes the guiding thread for multiple urban interventions. The various conditions of water on the territory are also considered trough this loop.
Some interventions are located on the riverbanks: for example the Arsenal site, conceived as a gate to the hidden garden of the Navigliaccio; or the “Palafitta”, a system of terraces on pilotis overhanging the natural banks; or also “The 3 Waters”, a public space Eastwards where the waters of the river, the moats and the canal meet. Other strategic interventions are set up along the canal and the Navigliaccio, aiming at better articulating the historical city and its outdoor territory. The scenario therefore manages, through a modification of the glance and the emergence of the water loop, to initiate strategic modifications for Pavia.

Download the PDF here



 See other projects on the same site:

Project 1:
A Walk. Two Hours Forty Minutes. One River.
Project 2:
A Man Never Steps Twice in the Same River
Project 3: Pop Up Ticino



See the other sites:

- Creating an Inter-Campus Dynamic Axis
- Naviglio: A Chance of Coexistence Between Students and Citizens