In the Secluded Grandeur of Copenhagen’s Former Underground Water Reservoir, Japanese Architect Hiroshi Sambuichi Unfolds a Contemplative Installation Entitled ‘The Water’
Sambuichi transforms the Cisternerne into a light and shadow sanctuary, inviting visitors to an underground journey. The installation, photographed by Rasmus Hjortshøj, is ‘a journey through an underground sea of light and darkness’.
Sambuichi’s approach is based on careful research of the local environment. He brings the outdoors inside, connecting the Søndermarken Park with the cistern’s chambers. He uses plants and natural light to create a peaceful atmosphere. He also installs a version of the Itsukushima Shrine, making a link between Japan and Denmark, and letting visitors walk on the underground water, like a light and reflection pilgrimage. The shrine is both a vehicle and a visual poem, expressing the balance of elements in Sambuichi’s work.
Sambuichi digs the earth above the cisterns for the first time in 150 years. This allows sunlight and water to interact in a calm dance, surrounding visitors with sensations as they walk to the center of the installation. Mirrors spread light, creating reflections, while a camera obscura shows the image of Frederiksberg Palace on the cistern walls, relating the installation to its history and location. Sambuichi says this is an architectural tribute to the elements, a harmonious play of sun, water, and air, designed to highlight the beauty of place and time.