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Within the framework of the celebration of Graz 2003 – European Capital of Culture, Vito Acconci/Acconci Studio (Design/Architectural Implementation) and Robert Punkenhofer/Art&Idea (Idea/Curatorial Development) created an Island of Water – an interactive, multifunctional piazza for the new millennium – on the river Mur in the historic city centre of Graz. This artificial island includes a floating theatre, a playground and a café/bar. There is no single isolated space: the open air theatre, the playground and the café covered by a glass dome are all intertwined and merge through a spiraling walkway that emphasizes the overall shape of the island including the two access ramps that connect the island with the riverbanks. “If people sit in the theatre, they see the playground in the back, if they sit in the café, they are protected by the playground forming part of the café’s roof ”, explains Acconci. “These different functions should not be separated radically: water flows around the island, and we wanted to construct an object that is also flowing and changeable.”
Robert Punkenhofer, art&idea