Photography: courtesy of Space Caviar

Mantua has a new cultural destination: a series of lily pad-like concert stages that float on the lake.

The Arcipelago di Ocno comprises seven circles referencing the lotus flowers that bloom in the water in the summer months.

Named for the mythical demigod that supposedly built Mantua, and designed by Italian studio Space Caviar, the islands vary in size and can be re-connected in different configurations.

It’s hoped that the new floating stages will help reconnect the city with its surrounding lakes, and may eventually be expanded further for future events.

Arcipelago di Ocno in Mantua by Space Caviar
Photography: courtesy of Space Caviar

‘Mantova’s citizens have been deprived for too many years of the pleasure to fully enjoy the relationship with water,’ says Lorenza Baroncelli, the city’s Councilor for Urban Regeneration.

‘The archipelago is a further incentive to continue to regenerate the lakes, and make them part of the urban and social fabric of Mantova.’

The stages opened on 11 September, and will host a programme of music, dance and art events as part of the city’s year-long status as Italian Capital of Culture.

Floating architecture also took over Italy’s Lake Iseo earlier in the year, when artist Christo installed a system of that allowed visitors to walk from one side of the lake to the other.

Read next: A floating pavilion puts bathing at the heart of Manifesta art biennial in Zürich.



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