Fluid Strata

Submission for Category: Aspatial


Submission for Category: Landscape



Submission for Category: Urban


Personal Info

Name: Dafni Filippa

Nationality: Greece

Institution / Company: Bartlett School of Architecture, MLA Studio 1


Instagram: filippa__d_arch

Facebook: Dafni Filippa

LinkedIn: Dafni Filippa


-WINNER of Non Architecture Award Competition | Category: Aspatial

-HONOURABLE MENTION of Non Architecture Award Competition | Category: Landscape

-HONOURABLE MENTION of Non Architecture Award Competition | Category: Urban


The project is inspired by the urgent need for resilient landscape systems which can be introduced into the urban environment to mitigate unpredicted tidal and storm surges. The city of London is directly linked to the North Sea, which is known for high intertidal currents carrying large bodies of water towards the Thames’s Estuary and right into the gates of the “Thames Barrier”. As our planet is experiencing extensive weather instabilities and an accelerating sea-level rise, the project proposes a speculative approach to how urban flooding can be mitigated by activating the Deep Ground’s ever-changing ecosystem dynamics. The proposal is based on a poetic notion to reactivate London’s hidden rivers as part of a responsive flood-defence organism of the stratigraphy. Through a series of membranes, landscape tissues, valves and deep channelling systems, the hydrological overflows meander between the Strata before they fuse to be exhausted into the Deep Ground. The introduced tectonic is based on an experimental application of Polymer-based hydromembranes focusing on responsive behaviour above and below ground. The proposed landscape exists in a reciprocal relationship with human and non-human territories changing its shape according to the water’s kinetic. Performing in each tidal cycle, the landscape absorbs and channelises the incoming water flow to protect the district of Westminster and the existing underground infrastructure. Over the years, and under substantial sea-level rise, the hidden river Tyburn which operates as the main organ of the overall landscape, gradually resurfaces in reverse into the city to accommodate the needed hydrological capacity.


Project Type: Speculative flood-defence organism.


Jury Comments

– Mariana Cabugueira

Your ability to represent, project and control fluid aesthetics places your project over others. Tectonic abstraction / super imposition of very textile experiences and a high level of abstract spaces. Top View image shows an absolute control of curve, and a surprising level maturity. I would invest on this level of detail for sections.


– Mirek Classen

“Fluid Strada” convinces with its experimental approach and the resulting chaotic aesthetics, which hardly allows to set a scale for the project. It is indeed scaleless & seamless in shape and time. A truly visionary project. 


– Murat Germen

This project reminds me of the movie “The Fifth Element” (1997) by Luc Besson where an urban life in 4-axis / 4D (left-right & up-down) was made possible. The organic forms carved into the landscape and merged into the existing stiff orthogonal architectural context creates a unique cave that makes me excited about the possible existence of such structure. The visual presentation is of very high quality and conveys the idea in an efficient way.



The flood causes much damage and loss in many cities these days. The proposal of the Fluid Strata approaches the flood problem from the underground of one of the most complex cities in London. We can believe that the controlling underground water facility should work as Tokyo has one gigantic water-tank-like basement space located in the underground already. The organic shape of the underground tectonic hydro-membranes design makes a strong contrast to the multi-functional underground city complex. Therefore, it delivers the solution more inspiring visually. 

The proposal visualises well these emergent situations and the complex layers of the section of the city. The presentation brings us to the imagination of the underground water facilities in a slightly dystopian manner. The waterpipes might be too small for their purpose, otherwise the proposal has inspiring design conception and visual strength both in 2D-drawings, 3D-drawings and the model. 


– Federico Scopinich

This very evocative vision is particularly convincing for its ability to combine a real and compelling theme such as the global rise of sea water levels with a conceptual ecological approach that rightly considers the subsoil as a fundamental part of the landscape and environmental system of inhabited areas. The graphic representations with a strong dystopian atmosphere deserve a particular mention.


– Karoline Liedtke

This project describes the realistic future scenario of the flooding of London and offers a solution of a responsive flood defense organism. The deep understanding of the different layers and spheres of London’s fluid systems in combination with intelligent appealing graphics to describe these systems and their behavior make this contribution extremely valuable. The proposed membranous tissues and fluctuation of the landscape are almost becoming alive and tangible.


– Kasmir Jolma

Fluid-Strata is a speculative, innovative, and artistic project that illustrates a novel solution for urban flooding.

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