When the rain falls at one Connecticut campus, a sculpture sitting beside a popular path comes alive.
Well, artistically speaking.
The sculpture, "H20: Liquid Zone," at Southern Connecticut State University resembles a series of whales with its smooth, undulating forms that seem to swim effortlessly. When it rains, the sculpture holds water and directs it in a slow trickle down defined channels.
According to architect mikyoung kim of Brookline, MA, the piece is made up of a series of undulating steel plates whose patterns vary. The plates overlap to create a series of interweaving channels. Water is collected within open U-channels and on architectural mesh surfaces.
According to the firm, "The channels of the open sculptures are grouped to form legs that are anchored to concrete poured-in-place footings and piers below the finish podium slab. The stainless steel sculptural assembly is embedded in an integrally colored black concrete podium with a trough running below the sculptures and containing black polished river stones. Water flows from the channels onto the ground plane that will distribute it and prevent pooling."
The sculpture uses W.S. Tyler's Egla-Twin and Doka-Mono architectural woven wire cloth. The two different designs of wire cloth were used because of the need for varying weaves and apertures, according to the company. Cape Cod Fabrications constructed the sculptures.
Each of the three sculptural elements is 35 feet long and 15 feet high. The overall length of the concrete podium is 81 feet long and 6½ feet wide.