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Project Dam 2

Amazon is a River


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

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.

Thomas and Lucas Facer have worked together on several projects and bring with them over 10 years of event design and festival building experience. They both come from the world of design-focused architecture and have spent time in prestigious global practices. However, they also have a strong grounding in the practicalities of building, particularly for both temporary and permanent installations in sensitive and sometimes hard-to-access locations. Now running their own small practices, they are confident they can deliver design vision as well as a wealth of firsthand, practical installation-building experience.


With Amazon is a River, the trio of architects Kim Gubbini, Lucas Facer and Thomas Randall-Page propose a vision that is both poetic and critical of the distribution and lifecycle of resources. The installation, a scaffold, becomes an hydraulic clock whose movements are ensured by the filling, tipping and emptying of a series of containers and everyday objects. But rather than measuring time, this work uses the flow and accumulation of water to address issues of gain and wealth, questioning the way we consume and the power that comes with it.

The scale is simple: the glass of water you can pour at the top of the tower represents one euro. The value of the water in the circuit represents the minimum wage in Luxembourg. Using the same reference point, the water held behind the Esch-sur-Sûre dam is equivalent to... the personal fortune of Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon!

Beyond this symbolic critique of the doctrine of infinite growth, another story is being told. Calling on the cyclical movement of water, it visualises a different economic model, one of circularity and degrowth. A model of the natural flow of things in the face of human intervention and domestication. For before being a giant of globalisation, Amazon is a river.

Assembly and operation

In line with the principles of the circular economy, the economic model it embodies, the work is assembled entirely from rented, salvaged, reused or recycled components. Directly connected to the Sûre, the tower pumps its water to the top, before being returned to the stream through the various containers, taking and giving back to the river in equal parts.

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

"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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