Guangzhou Vanke Centre Water Feature Artwork / Sushui Design
Text description provided by the architects. Guangzhou Siyou Vanke Centre is located at the junction of Guangzhou Avenue and the former waterway of the Pearl River. Within the view distance of Canton Tower, it is surrounded by many municipal, cultural, and commercial landmarks. The landscape planning and design of the project were led by SWA. Sushui Design cooperated with UAP to carry out the detailed design, production, and installation
The artwork is like a sail floating in the water with a slightly tilted corner, or a piece of paper blown by the breeze. The water flows quietly and covers the entire upper surface of the artwork. Such a light and flexible shape formed by hard stainless steel involve a self-contradictory beauty. Without water, the sense of agility may be limited by just the external form of the sculpture. But when the reflection of mirror-like stainless steel meets water, agility will be enhanced in an elegant and subtle manner. Under the sunlight, you will find the shimmering bright waves quite relaxing and pleasing.
Sushui’s core tasks in this project could be divided into three parts. The first was to get water to flow evenly on the artwork’s irregular surface finely. The second was the comprehensive balance of technical factors to control the extreme lightness of the artwork. And finally, the coordination with the production company to complete the construction of this water feature artwork together perfectly.
First and foremost, in order to achieve an evenly flowing water effect, the team used an advanced fluid simulation method. After revising the 1:1 scale model repeatedly, the team balanced the design and technical difficulties for an achievable solution through multiple simulations. As shown from the picture below, the fluid simulation result of the original sculpture indicated that with water flowing down along the fastest way, it couldn’t reach the edge of the sculpture. This problem was solved by adjusting the form and size of each step’s border panel, and by multiplying as well as scattering the water inlets for an even better-distributed water flow.
Additionally, Sushui pursued technical solutions at an ultimate small scale for the artwork’s lightness and beauty with the water effects being achieved at the same time. By working with UAP closely, the team identified the accurate puncture locations on the beams for piping and locations of water inlets on the irregular surface in the model. This was to insure that the water feature’s mechanical and engineering equipment fits perfectly with the structure and façade of the artwork at the smallest scale.
And furthermore, waterproofness became a particularly difficult problem during the sculpture’s manufacture and installation process. Two potential sources of water leakage were the massive amount of seams and barely 100 starlights’ cut holes scattered all over the surface, which would damage the stability and uniformity of the water film and hence the overall aesthetics. Regarding the joint problem, Sushui and the UAP team explored different joint methods multiple times, and effectively reduced water leakage in the end. As for starlight light holes, Sushui customized miniature lights, and tested hole diameters with light’s silicone protectors of different sizes to prevent water leakage.
All in all, a unique design plan, fine digital technical methods, exquisite artwork processing, reasonable and ingenious system design, millimeter-level construction technology, as well as the coordination and support of customers, and the efforts of countless people have been condensed into the art piece, which has inspired people to the perception, communication, and memory of the space of this water feature artwork.