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Project Dam 2

Amazon is a River


Lucas Facer (UK), Kim Gubbini (LU) & Thomas Randall-Page (UK)

With Amazon is a River, the trio of architects Kim Gubbini (LU), Lucas Facer (UK) and Thomas Randall-Page (UK) propose an installation that critiques the doctrine of infinite growth.  The installation promotes social and ecological well-being above corporate profits, over-production and excess consumption by using an abstract physical model of cyclical economic flows.

The installation takes the form of a playful bricolage tower, containing a kinetic water clock whose movements are generated by the gradual filling, tipping and draining of a series of familiar household vessels. Rather than measuring time, the flow and accumulation of water are used to represent issues of wealth and inequality, questioning the way we consume and the power that comes with it.

The scale is simple: a glass of water poured into the top of the tower represents one euro. Using this metric, different sized vessels in the circuit represent different values. To demonstrate the incomprehensible hoarding of wealth at play in our society, at this same ratio, the volume of water held behind the Esch-sur-Sûre dam is equivalent to the personal fortune of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos!

Beyond its symbolic critique of infinite growth, the installation tells another story. The river symbolises the natural flow of things, connected to a wider ecosystem, unimpeded by human intervention. This interpretation encourages reflection on the impact of man-made systems and imagines a different economic model, one of circularity and degrowth. Prior to being a giant of globalisation, Amazon was, and is, a river.

Assembly and operation

Consistent with the principles of the circular economy, the work is assembled entirely from rented, salvaged, reused or recycled components. The tower, directly connected to the Sûre river, pumps its water to the top, before returning it to the stream through the various containers, taking and giving back to the river in equal parts.

Some containers fill up and tip over, reminiscent of Shishi-odoshi, Japanese bamboo scarecrows and water fountains. Others reach a certain level before automatically emptying via a syphon, following the principle of the Pythagorean ‘greedy’ cup. Each action triggers a sound, making this installation a multi-sensory work.

Kim Gubbini was born in Luxembourg and later pursued her education in Austria, where she earned her B.Arch degree from the Technical University Vienna. Subsequently, she continued her studies at the Royal Danish Academy in Copenhagen, where she is currently pursuing her Master's degree. Throughout her academic career, Kim has acquired valuable experience working with renowned architectural firms, including MDW Architecture in Brussels and architect Maximilian Eisenköck in Vienna.

She actively contributes to the design and construction team of the Poolbar Festival in Feldkirch, Austria, and has actively participated in design-built workshops affiliated with the Architectural Association in London.


It was during an architecture summer school in Austria in 2021 that Kim crossed paths with Thomas Randall-Page. Thomas studied Architecture at the Glasgow School of Art, Aalto University, and London Metropolitan University. After completing his Master's degree, he worked at 6A Architects before joining Heatherwick Studio. Since 2014, Thomas Randall-Page Studio has earned a reputation for delivering projects that are both materially innovative and playful, spanning a wide range of scales, speeds, and degrees of permanence. These include the highly acclaimed 'Art Barn' and the competition-winning 'AirDraft,' an experimental inflatable floating arts venue. While the core of the studio's work is undeniably architectural, it takes pride in tackling design challenges that often extend into, or even transcend, other disciplines.


Lucas Facer is an architect and designer based in London, UK. Always in search of alternatives models for designing and building, his process begins with an understanding of context and the place. This naturally leads to a fascination with local materials, skills and environments. The result is characterful places and installations, carefully made from low carbon materials, based on regenerative design principles. Lucas has an ongoing body of research in the circular economy.. His practice focuses on retrofit over demolition, the repair of the old over purchasing new, whilst celebrating the act of care and the varied outcome of a process drawn from what is found. This appreciation of working with found objects and spaces is supported by his interest in self-building and DIY culture, questioning mainstream approaches to building and design, recentering community and affordability. At the core of his practice is a dedication to social and environmental equity.


"Amazon is a River

Concept & Design: Lucas Facer (UK), Kim Gubbini (LU) & Thomas Randall-Page (UK)

Designed as part of WaterWalls, Esch-sur-Sûre, 2024

Production: Esch(t)Kultur asbl

Coordination: Services for Creatives

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