’Mirror to the City’ - Vienna Bienale 2015 Ideas for Change competition entry

The ’Mirror to the City’ project aims to create focal points along Dambovita's waterfront by befriending the inhabitants to their long forgotten river. Through ’Mirror to the City’, the inhabitants of Bucharest will learn once again to interact with its riverbanks. Once more they will love, embrace and understand the true social and cultural potential it holds.


Now, the water level of Dambovita is three meters lower than the level of the main infrastructure along the river and therefore the waterline is almost invisible to the pedestrians. Our project makes use of the reflective installation that mitigates the physical gap between the water by bringing the water closer to the people through a set of mirrors.


The structure of ’Mirror to the City’ consists of parallel steel cables spanning from one bank of the river to the other. On the cables there are rectangular panels made from lightweight material, covered in reflective polycarbonate plates, used to accomplish the mirror effect. The installation has three settings for its mirrors in three distinctive positions, each time offering a different perspective for the pedestrians.


When the mirrors align and form a horizontal surface at the street level, the pedestrians will be more inclined to notice the reflecting quality of water.

When the mirrors are disposed vertically, they emphasize the presence of the water virtually lifting the water surface and bringing it closer.

The third step functions as floating dock under the mirrors allowing pedestrians to step down using stairs and walk along a platform situated at the water level. At the same time the viewer can look above and gaze at the river's reflection. The installation offers a rounded sensory experience of immersion into translucence. Further emphasis of the water surface is achieved when using light, during the night time, the installation will be projecting a strip of light onto the river, like a luminescent shadow trace.

We strongly believe that through the ’Mirror to the City’ installation we will arouse the curiosity of the people of Bucharest, and draw them towards the river. This will be nevertheless inspiring for the next generation and will create a new community that nurtures the city. Growing up with the awareness that Dambovita is theirs to enjoy has an enormous potential and represents a giant leap forward.


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