The Kolymbetra Garden in the heart of the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento is a vibrant example of a landscape made by human culture. It was made by farmers from Agrigento who skillfully adopted innovations brought by Greeks and Arabs. In an area very low on water, poorly suited to growing citrus fruits and vegetables by nature, the Kolymbetra valley is all the more unique. To this day, the form of the land and underground tunnels (dug by Greek architects starting in 480 BC) capture deep waters from the hill of Girgenti and bring it to the farmland.
In such a setting, water was inevitably the design’s focal point.
Water is the fundamental component of the landscape and continues to determine, as it always has, its form. Water is a continuous, interrupted line connecting past and present embodied in the mysterious underground paths from which it gushes into the valley. It is the source of life for the garden and its orange and lemon trees.
Yet water also poses a risk for Kolymbetra’s survival due to erosion and the danger that an exceptional flood could happen again in coming years.
Water must be governed and managed to protect the garden from its risks and to allow its irrigation.
Lastly, water is something to uncover, show off, where the Garden’s magnificent colors are reflected.