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Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

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Interactive Fountain РUlrich Westerfr̦lke

  • On January 8, 2006

A delicate piece of interactive architecture from a Ulrich Westerfrölke built in 1997 for Luitpold Square. The boundaries of the Square are defined by the 50 meter long facades of the Schloss Gallery and the Schloss with its newly constructed terraces. The “Energy Line”, a 70 meter long stainless steel-glass fiber band, goes beyond these boundaries. Beginning in the inner area of the Schloss Gallery near the now visible foundation stone shell, it cuts across the water basin in the square, steps up the bed and the edge of the terrace and ends in the rectangular limewood court. Thirty five sensor stones are strewn across the square and, like the Energy Line, glow in the night with a blue light. When a pedestrian crosses over one of the sensors, a change occurs in the water spray graphics with its 11 nozzles. The combination of each water nozzle, whether opened or closed, and the streams of water, either hard or gentle, enable 638,668,800 possible combinations. This means: each visitor to the square can produce a near unique water image.

The everchanging graphic is accompanied by the flyer’s constant rhythm of movement. The 12 elements (11 nozzles and the flyer) become a clock at the full hour: At first, the pneumatically controlled installation sets off every possible movement. After a few minutes of cacophony all the water is turned off, then the number of nozzles allowed to spray define the hour. Once again, all nozzles are turned off to “no water image” until a pedestrian reactivates the work by stepping over a sensor. A person interacts with the environment and through their presence they alone recreate the space

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