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Water Column


Date: 2015

Status: Research, Exhibition, Lecture

Location: Calgary, Canada

Program: Water Mirror, Hall of Heroes, Flood Memorial, Auditorium, Cinema, Exhibition Rooms, Event Hall, Flood Fashion Runway, Generator and Technical Rooms.

Size: 1500m2

Exhibition: Delugional Calgary - Urban Emergencies : Emergent Urbanism (UE:EU)

Lecture: Delugional Calgary - UE:EU

Team: Jessie Andjelic, Philip Vandermey, Justin Loucks, Phillip Mallysh, Jamie McFadyen


In order to memorialize the flood victims, heroes and events, the Water Column is a museum to the 2013 flood, and floods still to come, located at the confluence of the Bow and Elbow Rivers in Downtown Calgary adjacent to East Village. This vertical marker provides a tower from which to overlook the water while also recording flood events in rings around the exterior, just as a vertical post in a marina records various water levels.

Visitors access the Water Column via a long ramp that slowly descends into the water. Upon entering the base of the Column, a cantilevered overlook provides a view into the memorial for the dead; those lost to floods in the history of Calgary. A continuous Exhibition Spiral connects various themed spaces together. In the Control Room, visitors can observe flow rates, water levels, pollution and other information gathered from the water flowing by. They are also able to see the levels of energy generated by the Geothermal System and the Vortex Generator - the Water Column is entirely powered by renewable resources. In the Map Room, visitors can stand on various important flood locations, look through the adjacent telescope to view the actual spot in the city. The Flood Cinema provides video education on various past floods, while lecture and event halls provide spaces for various gatherings and symposia. At the top of the tower, visitors can learn about the protagonists in the flood story in the Hall of Heroes, located directly under the accessible Water Mirror.