On-Site Projects


Of Soil and Water: King's Cross Pond Club

building materials, soil, water, plants, natural filtration, 2015
King's Cross, London
Project by Ooze (Eva Pfannes & Sylvain Hartenberg) and Marjetica Potrc
Commissioned by King's Cross Central Limited Partnership
The Relay Art Program curated by Stephanie Delcroix and Michael Pinsky
International Award for Public Art by the Institute for Public Art and Shanghai University, 2022
Winner Landscape Institute Award, London, 2017

'Of Soil and Water: The King's Cross Pond Club', located on the construction site for the King's Cross Central development project in London, is a micro-ecological environment with a natural swimming pond at its centre. The temporary available land is transformed into a place where visitors can take a swim next to the aquatic plants that clean the water. The swimming pond is free of chemicals. The water is purified through a natural, closed-loop process using wetland and submerged water plants. The daily number of bathers is restricted by the amount of water the plants are able to clean. The pond is surrounded by wildflowers and grasses that change with the season. The project is based on idea of living in balance with nature and underscores the importance of soil and water, two natural resources we vitally depend on but often take for granted. This is a living laboratory that reveals nature's ability to restore itself while giving visitors a first-hand experience of humanity's relationships and responsibilities toward nature.
Petition by Save KX Pond Campaign Group.



The Soweto Project

Building materials, 2014
Project by the Class of the Design for the Living World in collaboration with residents of Soweto
In conjunction with Nine Urban Biotopes (9UB) Negotiating the Future of Urban Living
Supported by urban dialogues, Goethe-Institut South Africa, morethanshelters and PlanAct Johannesburg

The Soweto Project in Soweto, South Africa, was a participatory project by Marjetica Potrč and students of the Design for the Living World class (University of Fine Arts/HFBK, Hamburg, Germany). During the two months residency in spring 2014, the local residents and students turned a former public space that had been used as a dumping ground into a community-organized public space called Ubuntu Park. Together, they built a stage, braai-stands (BBQ-stands), and tables and benches. To open Ubuntu Park, and to celebrate the community, they organized the Soweto Street Festival. Ubuntu Park project was not primarily about the constructed objects and events but about the process of the park’s creation. By exchanging knowledge with local collaborators students created new knowledge that became the basis for creating new methodologies and tools of engagement for participatory practices. Key methods included the relational object, the ritual of transition, marking the territory, placemaking, performative action, and the act of naming. Residents reclaimed the space as a collective space, forming a committee that supported and promoted the values of the common good: the security and maintenance of the space, a place for art and culture, urban agriculture and a playground for children. The project followed four steps of participatory design:
  • Listening to and talking with the local residents before making any definite plan.
  • Involving the community in the decision-making and design processes.
  • Involving the community in the construction process.
  • Transferring responsibility for the developed project to the community in order to leave behind a sustainable work that benefits population in the long term.
The Soweto Project, published by Archive Books Berlin.


The Wind Lift

Building materials, energy infrastructure, 2014
Lookout, Folkestone Triennial 2014, Folkestone, UK
Project by Marjetica Potrc and Ooze (Eva Pfannes & Sylvain Hartenberg)
Structural engineering: Atelier One
Supported by the Creative Foundation Folkestone

Folkestone's nineteenth-century expansion was driven by the railways, so the mainline railway viaduct holds an iconic place in its history. The artists mounted a wind turbine in one of the viaduct's highest arches. A passenger lift - the Wind Lift - is powered entirely by energy produced by the turbine, thus creating a closed loop of harvest and use. The number of rides depends on the strength of the wind. People who take the 25m-high ride for a view of Folkestone harbour experience directly the give-and-take relationship between humanity and nature, from a 21st-century lookout on life on earth.



The Commons Project

Building materials, public discussions and workshops, 2013
Yes Naturally, the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Netherlands.
Project by Marjetica Potrc and Ooze (Eva Pfannes & Sylvain Hartenberg)
in collaboration with Theo Tegelaers (TAAK), Henriette Waal and Christiaan Bakker (Sandberg Instituut/Master Vacant NL) and the assistance of Lucia Babina, Sven van Asten and Lucy van Kleef.
Structural engineering: Jaap Dijks (Pieters Bouwtechniek).
Makers: Jasper Vandermade, Koert Verberne, Job Salzherr, Koen de Vries, Marco Broeders, Ed Boogaard, Porfi.
Supported by the Mondriaan Foundation, Amsterdam and the Dutch Ministry of Economy.

'The Commons Project' occupies two unused sites near the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague: a small wooded area, a remnant of a former dune forest, represents the kind of natural environment that has been held in common for centuries, while an empty tower, built by the architect J. J. P. Oud in 1969 and considered a monument of modernist architecture, represents the enormous potential of vacant buildings in the Netherlands. The Commons Platform, the same size as the footprint of the tower, is constructed in the woods. For five months, The Commons Platform and The Commons Tower become a new platform for addressing and reinventing the idea of 'the commons'. This once-prevalent form of joint ownership barely exists today, having been largely supplanted by private ownership, on one hand, and state ownership, on the other. 'The Commons Project' explores ways that common property and its use can be organized. The program consists of workshops, lectures, fairs and an open public court.


The Brant Club

Mural, public debates, workshops, 2012
The Musagetes Guelph Program, Guelph, Canada
The Brant neighbourhood, Guelph, Canada
Project by Lucia Babina and Marjetica Potrc
Supported by the Brant Community, the Brant Avenue Public School, the Brant Avenue Neighbourhood Group, Cohabitation Strategies, and the Everdale Organic Farm and Learning Centre

Located in the Brant neighbourhood in Guelph, Canada, The Brant Club is a platform for the exchange of knowledge and practices between neighbourhood residents, the Brant Avenue Public School, the municipality, and such local initiatives as the Everdale Farms, with the goal of turning a public park into an urban farm. The project developed through a variety of community activities focusing on the available natural assets in the area, place-making, and food accessibility. By participating in the activities, the local residents began taking a more active role in reshaping the life of their neighbourhood. The project is conceived as a tool for empowering local participation in governance at a time when the city is cutting back its financial assistance to this economically disadvantaged district, leaving an uncertain future in the hands of the residents themselves. The mural We Are Brant, mounted on the facade of the Brant Avenue Public School, illustrates steps that lead to a new culture of living.


The Public Space Society

Building materials and fabric, public debates and workshops, 2012
'Art and the City 2012' Stadionbrache, Zürich
Project by Marjetica Potrč and Ooze (Eva Pfannes & Sylvain Hartenberg) in cooperation with Stadionbrache Hardturm, Zürich
Supported by the Municipality of Zürich; Reto Bonomo, Zürich; and Tiggelovend-Kok BV, Etten (Gld), Netherlands.

What kind of agora - what kind of shared gathering space - do we want for today, and what kind of space do we want to leave behind for the coming generations? 'The Public Space Society' articulates a shared public space organized and managed by neighbourhood residents in Zürich West, the city's largest redevelopment area. Inspired by the self-organizational tradition of the Swiss 'Genossenschaft' ('society'), 'The Public Space Society' attempts a new model of public space by taking into consideration all the pertinent parties: the owner of the land, users, neighbours, visitors, and the citizens of Zürich. Located on the temporarily leased space of a gardening association in Zürich West, 'The Public Space Society' employs a 'Baugespann' (markers showing the dimensions of a future construction) to plot a symbolic void, where discussions take place about the shape of the district's future square.


Source de Friche

Building materials and water-supply infrastructure, 2012
GARDEN - Parkdesign 2012
Brussels, Belgium
Project by Marjetica Potrc and Ooze (Eva Pfannes & Sylvain Hartenberg)
Supported by IBGE Bruxelles Environnement.

Source de Friche was a constructed wetland that provided drinking water in an urban wasteland. It was situated on half of a former Shell Oil industrial site, where water had accumulated in a large depression. Although the site had been decontaminated, the water remained polluted. In the project, the polluted water was processed through a constructed wetland, a system that uses helophyte filter plants for purification; in this way, nature’s ability to restore itself was on display. But although the water was purified, it still did not meet all European regulations for drinking water for humans, so the artists labelled it as water “of drinkable quality exclusively for non-humans”. The project thus addressed the issue of water as the world’s most precious natural resource in the 21st century.


La Semeuse

Building materials, vegetable garden, platform for ecological urban gardening, 2011-ongoing
Les Laboratoires d'Aubervilliers
Project by Marjetica Potrc, RozO Architectes (Severine Roussel et Philippe Zourgane) and Guilain Roussel.
Supported by Ville d'Aubervilliers, Plaine Commune, la Fondation France, Departement Seine Saint-Denis, DRAC Ile-de-France and Region Ile-de-France.

'La Semeuse' is a platform for the exchange of seeds and plants, knowledge and techniques related to the ecological urban gardening. Initiated by Les Laboratoires d'Aubervilliers, a cultural institution for art and research, and located in the institution's courtyard, 'La Semeuse' is a place for the people of Aubervilliers to share their seeds, plants and knowledge. Aubervilliers, a multicultural suburb of Paris, is experiencing the pressure of development and gentrification. 'La Semeuse' raises awareness and poses questions about multiculturalism, as represented by biodiversity, and about the sustainability of Aubervilliers. It serves as a bridge between residents and the municipality, which has identified small-scale unused green spaces as potential community gardens. 'La Semeuse' is a monument to multicultural Aubervilliers, to its identity as a city of gardens and to the resilience of those who live there.


Théàtre Évolutif

Building materials, water-supply infrastructure, vegetable garden and live animals, 2011
Evento 2011: L'art pour re-evolution urbaine
Place André Meunier, Bordeaux
Project by Marjetica Potrč and Ooze (Eva Pfannes and Sylvain Hartenberg), in collaboration with Bureau d'Etudes.
Supported by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication (DRAC Aquitaine), Xylofutur, Bricorelais, and the Mondriaan Foundation

'Théàtre Évolutif' at Place André Meunier in the Saint-Michel neighbourhood of Bordeaux enacts a form of coexistence between the architectural structure (Chantier architectural) and the social structure (Chantier social). The project is organized around three cycles: the dynamic cycle of citizenship, the human water cycle, and the bio-dynamic cycle. The residents of Saint-Michel, having articulated in a Charter their vision of a sustainable city in which people are the most valuable resource, participate in the design and use of the 'open roof' area in the public space. 'Théàtre Évolutif' is a pilot project that tests a bottom-up approach to the design of the city at a time when the neighbourhood is expected to be gentrified. Among other things, the open roof structure symbolizes one of the basic architectural archetypes - 'A man is a tree is a column for the house' - and suggests that the Saint-Michel residents are themselves the pillars of their neighbourhood. The project includes a water-supply infrastructure that features a drinking-water station and open toilet for the public.


A Rooftop Rice Field at Byuri School

Building materials, energy and water-supply infrastructure, rice field, 2010
APAP2010, Anyang
Supported by the APAP2010, Anyang, South Korea

'A Rooftop Rice Field at Byuri School' is located at an alternative school in Anyang, South Korea, one of Seoul's satellite cities. Rainwater from the roof of a pavilion on top of the building is collected in a water tank. It is used for irrigating the rooftop rice field and flushing the toilets on the building's top floor. The rice field is cultivated by students, and the rice is used for student meals at the school. Growing one's own food is an important part of city life in Anyang, but it is not a practice that is recognized by the municipal planning authorities. Currently, the city is focused on supporting continuous development with almost no concern for ensuring a sustainable future. The project's aim is to create greater awareness about sustainable water use and the importance of relocalizing food systems to rebuild the city's self-sufficiency in food provision. The project is a part of citizens' efforts to persuade the municipality to provide free, organically grown food for all students in Anyang.


Between the Waters: The Emscher Community Garden

Building materials, energy and water-supply infrastructure, vegetable garden, 2010
EMSCHERKUNST.2010, Emscher Island, Essen
Project by Marjetica Potrc and Ooze (Eva Pfannes & Sylvain Hartenberg)
Supported by the EMSCHERKUNST.2010, Essen

'Between the Waters: The Emscher Community Garden' is a water-supply infrastructure line between the Emscher River and the Rhine-Herne Canal. The project is a complete and sustainable water-supply system. It uses only water from the immediate area: the Emscher River, the Rhine-Herne Canal, rainwater and waste water. By putting the treatment process on display, it shows it is possible to reclaim and restore the natural habitat by using low-tech processes to construct a high-tech system. The main elements of the water supply and treatment installation are two toilets located above the Emscher River (the most polluted river in Germany), a pump that draws water from the river into a septic tank, a constructed wetland, a rainwater-harvesting roof, water storage bags, and a fountain located above the Rhine-Herne Canal that offers visitors water of drinkable quality. In addition, the system provides water for irrigating the Community Garden.
Media response: Arch Daily


Rainwater Harvesting on a Farm in the Venice Lagoon

Building materials, energy and water-supply infrastructure, 2010
Azienda Agricola Finotello, Sant'Erasmo Island, Venice Lagoon
Project by Marjetica Potrc and Marguerite Kahrl
Supported by the Bevilacqua La Masa Foundation, Venice; Verlato+Zordan Architects, Vicenza; Termoidraulica Cabi, Vicenza; and project manager Gaston Ramirez Feltrin.

A rainwater-harvesting system on a farm on Sant'Erasmo island in the Venice Lagoon (re)introduces rainwater as a valuable resource for the farm. Rainwater collected from greenhouse roofs is used to irrigate the crops inside. Like Venice itself, the farm's very existence is dependent on water. But because the Lagoon is subsiding, the Venetian government plans to limit the use of water from underground aquifers, a measure that threatens local food production and farmers' livelihoods. Water, once Venice's closest ally, has become her enemy. The rainwater-harvesting project seeks to model an alternative paradigm to this adversarial relationship.


The Cook, the Farmer, His Wife and Their Neighbour

Building materials, energy infrastructure, vegetable garden, 2009
Stedelijk Goes West, Nieuw West, Amsterdam
Project by Marjetica Potrc and Wilde Westen (Lucia Babina, Reinder Bakker, Hester van Dijk, Sylvain Hartenberg, Merijn Oudenampsen, Eva Pfannes, Henriette Waal)
Supported by the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam; Far West, Amsterdam; The Netherlands Architectural Fund, Rotterdam

The project is a community garden and community kitchen in the Nieuw West district of Amsterdam. A previously unused site at Lodewijk van Deysselstraat 61 becomes a community kitchen. The vegetable garden is located behind the kitchen in a former fenced-off 'look-only garden' (kijkgroen). The garden and the kitchen create bonds within the neighbourhood and become a catalyst for transforming not only the public space but also the community itself. The project is an example of 'redirective practice', with people from various disciplines and backgrounds working together to find new ways to build a shared community. The project is a case study for redesigning the modernist neighbourhood from below and redefining rural and urban coexistence.
More information can be found on the project's blog.


Lookout with Wind Turbine

Building materials and energy infrastructure, 2008
Vriza, Piraeus Building, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Collaborative project by Marjetica Potrc and Vriza (Lonnie van Brummelen and Siebren de Haan)
Supported by SKOR and AFK, the Netherlands

The Lookout with Wind Turbine is an addition to the loggia of the Vriza apartment. The structure includes an observation platform and a wind turbine, which provides electricity for the apartment. It is located on one of the highest points of the residential Piraeus Building, whose modernist design acknowledges the social equality of the residents even as it strictly regulates their private space. The Lookout with Wind Turbine marks the location of Vriza, an artists' collective that opens its private space for public events. The project draws a connection between power (electricity) and Vriza's work of empowerment. It suggests that culture is a tool for reinventing the city.


A Schoolyard in Knivsta: Fruit and Energy Farms

Energy infrastructure, fruit trees, 2008
The Thunmanskolan High School, Knivsta, Sweden
Project by Marjetica Potrc and Stealth (Ana Dzokic, Marc Neelen) in collaboration with Ingalill Nahringbauer (A5 Arkitekter)
Commissioned by the Swedish National Public Art Council and the Municipality of Knivsta

The Thunmanskolan schoolyard has been designed as a hi-tech Energy Farm and Orchard. In the Energy Farm, a hybrid system consisting of a wind turbine and solar paneling harvests energy, which is then plugged into the existing electricity grid and shared with the larger community. The Orchard reminds us of the new balance between the urban and the rural. This example of values based on sustainability illustrates the empowerment of the Knivsta community, which has recently gained independence from the Uppsala Municipality. In keeping with Swedish tradition, the schoolyard is open to the general public.


A Farm in Murcia: Rainwater Harvesting

Water-supply infrastructure, 2007
Estratos, Contemporary Art Project,PAC, Murcia, Spain

The rooftops of a small organic farm near Bullas, Spain, in the region of Murcia, collect rainwater and deposit it in a biological-purification tank. The collected water is used to irrigate fields. Murcia is currently facing the loss of both its soil and water -- essential and non-renewable resources -- which puts the region on the fast track to becoming a desert. Small organic farms, however, protect and rebuild soil fertility and the water supply.


A school in Sharjah: Solar-Powered Desalination Device

Energy and water-supply infrastructure, 2007
Sharjah Biennial 8, Sharjah, UAE

A small desalination device powered by solar energy is installed in a public school in Al Dhaid. It provides fresh drinking water for the students. Although the main desalination plant in Sharjah City is intended to supply drinking water to all residents, in some parts of the city only salty water comes out of the drinking taps. The desalination plant runs on fossil fuels, reflecting the area's dependence on oil. In Sharjah, solar energy is only rarely used to create electricity.


Power from Nature

Energy infrastructure, 2005
Barefoot College, Rajasthan, India, and the Catherine Ferguson Academy, Detroit, Mich., USA
In collaboration with the Nobel Peace Center, Oslo, Norway

Self-sustainable technologies are relocated from the city of Oslo to two other sites: the rural community of the Barefoot College in Rajasthan and the Catherine Ferguson Academy, a high school for teenage mothers in Detroit. Both communities have in their practice demonstrated a commitment to the principles of self-sustainability. The installation of solar panels at the Barefoot College and of a hybrid wind turbine/solar panel system at the Catherine Ferguson Academy came after the historical preservation authorities in Oslo refused to authorize an earlier project designed for the Nobel Peace Center that would have incorporated wind turbines as one of its main elements.
Media response: Metrotimes Detroit


Balcony with Wind Turbine

Building materials and energy infrastructure, 2004
'3rd Liverpool Biennial', Liverpool, England

A balcony with a wind turbine is installed on the 14th floor of the Bispham House towerblock. Originally part of the movement for social housing, towerblocks are today being increasingly pulled down. Of the 72 social-housing highrises that were once in Liverpool, only 12 remain. With the dissolution of the social state, these remaining towerblocks are being privatized. While underscoring private space and wind-generated energy, the project improves living conditions for two families.


Dry Toilet

Building materials and sanitation infrastructure, 2003
Courtesy of Liyat Esakov and Marjetica Potrc
Supported by La Vega community, Caracas;
Caracas Case Project and Federal Cultural Foundation of Germany;
Ministry of Environment, Venezuela

The dry toilet project was the result of a six-month stay in Caracas, during which time Liyat Esakov and Marjetica Potr&ccaron& researched the informal city under the auspices of the Caracas Case Project. A dry, ecologically safe toilet was built on the upper part of La Vega barrio, a district in the city without access to the municipal water grid. The project attempts to rethink the relationship between infrastructure and architecture in real-life urban practice in a city where about half the population receives water from municipal authorities no more than two days a week.


Shenzhen: Individual Empowerment

Building materials, energy and communication infrastructure, 2003
'The Fifth System: Public Art in the Age of Post-Planning'
The 5th Shenzhen International Public Art Exhibition, Shenzhen, China

A wi-fi service is provided at a cafe in the Porto Fino gated community in the Overseas Chinese Town (OCT) in Shenzhen. Solar panels supply electricity for a laptop computer, allowing visitors to browse the Internet for free. All across the world, gated communities seek control over basic infrastructure systems, whether for water or communication.


Siena: Urban Agriculture

Building materials and energy infrastructure, 2003
'Arte all'Arte 8 Project', Associazione Arte Continua, San Gimignano, Italy

A hydroponic vegetable garden is cultivated on the roof of a privately owned building in the city of Siena, Italy. The project focuses on notions of self-sustainability and private space. In this way, an experiment in urban agriculture -- an approach that has been recommended by the World Bank for such fast-growing cities as Cairo and that is being implemented in Caracas -- now finds a home in Siena.


Istanbul: Rooftop Room

Building materials, energy and communication infrastructure, 2003
'Poetic Justice' The 8th International Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul

Rooftop Room is a site-specific project realized for the 8th Istanbul Biennial. It consists of a tin roof constructed on top of a privately owned flat-roof house in Kustepe, Istanbul. After the exhibition closed, the family who lives in the house replaced the temporary curtain walls with permanent walls.


House for Travelers

Building materials
'Manifesta 3', Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2000
'Go-Home', Sarajevo, BIH, 2002

I built the House for Travelers for a family of refugees who live in Ljubljana. The house is modeled after a UNESCO resettlement project in Kenya. The dwelling consists of a tin roof on stilts and a small room for safeguarding possessions. In both Ljubljana and Sarajevo, the temporary structure was given to a temporary social group. Residents made their own improvements on the houses.



Site specific building, building materials, 1997
'Skulptur. Projekte in Münster', Münster, Germany

Magadan, a project named after a Far Eastern Russian port city, begins with a walk through a huge World War II bunker and ends with a shanty structure built in the open area of the moat. Magadan references both the urban voids of Münster, of which the bunker is one example, and shantytowns. Shantytowns and urban voids are both common features in the contemporary city.