Guangzhou Vanke Center Water Feature Artwork / Sushi Design
Text description provided by the architects. Guangzhou Siyou Vanke Center is located at the junction of Guangzhou Avenue and the East Waterway of the Pearl River. Within visual distance from the Canton Tower, it is surrounded by several municipal, cultural and commercial sites. The landscape planning and design of the project was led by SWA. Sushi Design cooperated with UAP for detailed design, production and installation
The artwork is like a sail floating in water with a slightly sloping corner, or a piece of paper blown by the wind. The water flows silently and covers the entire top surface of the artwork. Such a lightweight and flexible shape created by hardened stainless steel adds a self-contradictory beauty. Without water, the sense of agility might be limited to just the exterior of the sculpture. But when the mirror-like stainless steel reflection meets the water, agility will be enhanced in an elegant and subtle way. Under the sunlight, you will find the shimmering dazzling waves quite relaxing and pleasing.
The main tasks of Sushi in this project can be divided into three parts. The first was to make the water flow evenly over the irregular surface of the artwork. Second, there was a comprehensive balance of technical factors to control the excessive lightness of the artwork. And finally, coordination with the production company to fully complete the creation of this water feature artwork.
First and foremost, to achieve the effect of evenly flowing water, the team used an advanced fluid simulation method. After repeatedly revising the 1:1 scale model, the team balanced design and technical difficulties for an achievable solution through multiple simulations. As shown by the picture below, the fluid simulation result of the original sculpture indicated that the water was flowing in the fastest way, it could not reach the edge of the sculpture. This problem was solved by adjusting the size and shape of the border panels of each stage, and multiplying the water inlets as well as scattering for a better distributed water flow.
Additionally, Sushi followed the ultimate small-scale technical solutions for the lightness and beauty of the artwork with the effects of water achieved at the same time. Working closely with UAP, the team identified precise puncture locations on beams for piping and locations of water inlets on irregular surfaces in the model. This was to ensure that the mechanical and engineering equipment of the water feature fit perfectly with the composition and façade of the small-scale artwork.
And besides, waterproofing became a particularly difficult problem during the sculpture’s manufacturing and installation process. Two potential sources of water leaks were massive seams and the cut holes of barely 100 starlights scattered across the surface, which would damage the stability and uniformity of the water film and therefore the overall aesthetics. With regard to the joint problem, Sushi and the UAP team explored various joint methods several times, and finally effectively reduced the water leakage. For the Starlight Light Hole, Sushi customized miniature lights with silicone protectors of different sizes of light to prevent water leaks, and tested hole diameters.
Overall, a unique design scheme, fine digital technical methods, excellent artwork processing, reasonable and simple system design, millimeter-level manufacturing technology, as well as the coordination and support of customers, and the efforts of countless people have been condensed. The piece of art, which has inspired people to the perception, communication and memory of this water feature artwork.