Praying Room Beneath Water


Rome, Italy
Roman Workshop (one week), Tunghai University 2013
Advisor: Luka Galofaro, Tien Ling
Team: Po-Cheng Wu

In Rome, reclamation and reuse of monumental places are currently only used in tourist attractions. In this project, we tried to bring historical landmarks back to contemporary city life cycle and restore their collective value.In the middle of Roman Forum, we have established a praying room beneath the water. We utilized the concept of a praying room in a historical and popular site as a means of discussing the relationship between religion, history, and tourism within common and urban spaces. It is a project of reflection on the idea of shared space.
This piece used water as a media to link the religious symbol and the common element of people's life. The entrance was situated secluded from the pools. This arrangement allowed the praying room to stay peaceful and isolated from the tourists. The pools are leisure objects for tourists under the blazing sun in Roman Forum. At the same time, they are also the ceiling of the praying chamber. Users could see the blue sky vaguely from underneath the water. When it rains, water would fall into the chamber from a skylight in the middle of the pool and fill the bottom part of the chamber with water. Users could feel the space not only visually, but also by touching and listening. We intended to create a praying room not particularly for one religion. With the usage of water, we aimed to create a sacred atmosphere that people with different beliefs can have their own moments of peace.