AquaLapis - CODAworx


Client: Arts Huntsville and the City of Huntsville, Alabama

Location: Huntsville, AL, United States

Completion date: 2024

Artwork budget: $645,000

Project Team


Cliff Garten

Cliff Garten Studio

Project Manager

Sixto Cordero

Cliff Garten Studio


AquaLapis is a sculpture referencing Huntsville’s landscape and water, above and below ground. The bedrock of the city and the water that moves through its karst limestone geology from Monte Sano to Big Spring Park in the center of the city is a powerful metaphor for something that is enduring and solid. The City Hall is the foundation of government, and the karst limestone geology is the bedrock/foundation of Huntsville. AquaLapis asks the viewer to take part in and celebrate a greater ecological awareness of the city and the structures of the earth that direct water in the landscape to the site of its Big Spring where Huntsville was founded. The sculpture is positioned along the length of the double story, staircase, a grand lobby, and entry to the City Hall. Entering the City Hall, one sees the largest volume of glass cascading from an inner structure of aluminum rods that create two serpentine lines moving along the length of the staircase. Ascending or descending the staircase the viewer participates in a glittering serpentine line of varying blue-glass crystals that meander down the staircase. The axis of the staircase aligns with the axis of the underground spring that falls into Big Spring Park to the north of City Hall.


The piece is illuminated with changing LED light from within the aluminum volumes surrounding the hanging glass crystals.