Working on Water

Panorama Ukraine


The Working on Water workshop marked the beginning of Panorama Ukraine, a multidisciplinary project aimed at the reconstruction of Ukraine. Working on Water was a week of knowledge sharing and work in which architects, urban designers, policymakers, and academics explored the role of water in the reconstruction of Ukraine. The focus was on the region around the Dnipro River delta, the area around the destroyed Kakhovka Dam. The workshop took place at the Keilepand in Rotterdam from 27 November to 1 December 2023.

Participants and experts at work during workshop Werken aan Water. Foto: Sabine van der Vooren
    • Credits

Water plays an important role in Ukraine’s climate-proofness and resilience. As the climate changes, dehydration and flooding are becoming topical issues. In addition, agriculture is an important part of the Ukrainian economy, with the country’s fertile soil intricately linked to its identity. The destruction of the Kakhovka Dam represents a drastic change in Ukraine’s water infrastructure. Irrigation systems on the Dnipro, hydroelectric power generation and the water current have been dramatically altered. The dam has artificially maintained the course of the river for decades; the workshop focused on exploring new possibilities. Future plans also had to address current problems such as the lack of clean drinking water.

Read the full report by Abe Minnema.

Livestreams first workshop

- Introduction, context and method: 

- Daria Malchykova:

- Luca Iuorio:

- Florian Witsenburg: 

- Yurii Palekha:

- Carola Hein:

- Taneha Kuzniecow Bacchin:

- Hidden Waters: 

- Presentation of results:

Participants Working on Water workshop

For this workshop, the IABR collaborated with Archiprix International, a network of universities of applied sciences that brings together the best graduation projects in the fields of (landscape) architecture every two years. The young architects from the last edition were invited to Rotterdam to participate in the workshop. The participants came from Bangladesh, Mozambique, Tonga, Serbia, Syria, and many other countries, bringing together diverse backgrounds. These young architects attended the workshop in Rotterdam together with Ukrainian architects. Seven young Ukrainian professionals were present in Rotterdam and five participants worked online from Ukraine.

Experts Working on Water Workshop

Supervised by Ukrainian and Dutch architects and urban designers (from, among others, West 8, Echo Urban design, One Architecture & Urbanism, CRa, Felixx Landscape Architects & Planners, PosadMaxwan, KuiperCompagnons, KOTSIUBA Landscape Architecture, Urban Reform, Buro of Initiative Architecture (GA), Urban Curators, Urban Council of Union of Architects of Ukraine, LIAG, Delft University of Technology, and Studio Space Station) and water experts (including Carola Hein, Delft University of Technology, and Daria Malchykova, Kherson State University) the participants worked on different cases in eight groups, each with their own assignment.

With the help of the Dutch Embassy in Kyiv, two Ukrainian experts came to Rotterdam to share their insights and knowledge of the delta region with the group. The other Ukrainian experts present at the workshop were already working in the Netherlands as architects or researchers at the time, including Pavlo Gorokhovskyi, architect and advisor to the Dutch Board of Government Advisors (CRa), and Lesia Topolnyk, founder of architecture office Studio Space Station and winner of the Prix de Rome 2022.

Participants and experts Working on Water workshop. Photo: Sabine van der Vooren

Short video report Working on Water

Complete video report Working on Water


Over five days, all participants worked in eight groups on their own challenge. Please find the joint programme below.


- Introduction lecture: Panorama Ukraine workshop – IABR + Archiprix + UNUN, moderated by Saskia van Stein

- Lecture: Context and Method Panorama Ukraine – Floris Alkemade

- Lecture: The Horrific Disaster at the Kakhovka Dam: Environmental, Economic and Social Dimensions of the Global Catastrophe in Ukraine – Daria Malchykova, Professor Kherson State University

- Lecture: Consequences of a Dam in a Landscape: Investigating the Relations between Engineering Infrastructures, Space and Society – Luca Iuorio, Assistant Professor Delft University of Technology


- Lecture: The Global Technical Response to the Destruction of the Kakhovka Dam - Florian Witsenburg, Tygron CEO

- Lecture: The Experience of Coastal and Aquatic Areas Planning in Ukraine - Yurii Palekha, Dipromisto


- Field trip: Keilehaven Tidal Park- Marcello Corradi, landscape architect De Urbanisten

- Lecture: Water Systems Design - Carola Hein, Professor Delft University of Technology


- Lecture: Designing Through Scales in Relation to Water Systems - Taneha Kuzniecow Bacchin, Associate Professor Delft University of Technology

- Lecture: Hidden Waters - Historical Water Systems in the Netherlands and Iran - Nasim Razavian, PhD candidate Delft University of Technology, and Jens Jorritsma, OBSCURA founder


- Presentations of all workshop results, moderated by Saskia van Stein