The Architecture of Water

Authored by: Karen Piper

The Routledge Companion to Critical Approaches to Contemporary Architecture

Print publication date:  August  2019
Online publication date:  August  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138917569
eBook ISBN: 9781315688947
Adobe ISBN:


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Comparing two large-scale aqueduct projects in California and India, this chapter looks at how political battles have influenced the design of water infrastructure, as well as how water projects have in turn influenced politics. Designed in the nineteenth century by two British colonial officers, these two projects have for the past century been tabled, revived, and fought over. They continue to be used as political footballs, though their colonial origins have been long forgotten. Piper ultimately argues that this kind of outdated water infrastructure needs to be replaced with more environmentally conscious and aesthetic water architecture, but that political inertia keeps this from happening.

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