Water Wall

1+

Client: American Cancer Society

Location: Houston, TX, United States

Completion date: Jan 01, 2020

Artwork budget: $50,000

Project Team

Architect

Erica Mercer

Will + Perkins

Fabricator

Matt Sherer

Boneyard Designs

Overview

Made of strings of architectural resin the exterior kinetic sculpture spans between the ground and overhead trellis, providing a visual focal point in a large courtyard. 14’-6” tall, the composition is made of two curved pieces, 18’ in length. The artwork provides unique and changing views from the interior and exterior spaces. The translucent colors are layered, providing dynamic, changing compositions. The varying natural sunlight continuously changes the look of the art, as it shines through the color squares, in much the same way water reflects nearby light and color.

Goals

The goal of this project was to bring the unique, calming beauty of a water sculpture to a spacious courtyard of a building that will be used by cancer patients. The kinetic sculpture creates beauty and gentle sound, similar to the movement of water. Designed for the resin squares to gentling touch, the sculpture creates a soothing sound. Movement enlivens the art, so does the changing natural sunlight. The artwork provides unique and changing views from the interior and exterior spaces. The translucent colors are layered, providing dynamic, changing compositions. The materials had to be resilient to withstand the elements, and could not emit potentially be hazardous chemicals. No glues or toxins could be used in the fabrication of the piece. The art is as low maintenance and as safe as possible. Unlike water features, there is no need for constant maintenance.

Process

The project was a collaboration between the client (American Cancer Society), the architectural design team (Perkins & Will) and the artist. Preliminary designs and materials were approved by the client and architectural teams. A significant component of the collaboration was the design and engineering of the trellis attachments. The attachments details were designed by the artist and approved by the construction and engineering teams. The artist and her team installed the piece over two days.