Title: Waterscape
Photo Credit: Anna Valentina Murch and Douglas Hollis
Lead Artist(s):

Contributing Artist(s):
Douglas Hollis

As part of the development of the new San Jose Civic Center, the Public Art Program of the City of San Jose commissioned artists Anna Valentina Murch and Douglas Hollis to design an artwork for the plaza of the New City Hall. The artists' design is a water sculpture inspired by the natural geological and artesian conditions underlying the San Jose region. Equally important is the intent to create a symbol for the future, one that celebrates innovation and change as an ephemeral experience. The specific design of Waterscape is composed of two topographic fields of monumental granite slabs. The fields slope from Santa Clara Street toward the New City Hall plaza. Water flowing down the surface of the field laps onto the plaza in subtle ripples. Water also flows over the vertical stone on the fountain edges, disappearing beneath the plaza, creating walls of water that defines the perimeter along Santa Clara Street. The water within the field is programmed to respond to changes in time of day, temperature, season and/or availability of water to create different visual, sonic and atmospheric qualities. Within the field are groupings of stone boulder surrounded by concealed water jet nozzles that will bubble and swirl around these boulders as if they are emerging or submerging from the water flow much like boulders in a river. Additional boulders are set into the plaza providing a variety of seating opportunities next to the water feature. Telescoping linear "vanes" of stainless steel extend from the field and plaza 20-28 feet into the air. These vanes deliver different qualities of fog through the air above the plaza to cool it on warm days, and catch and refract prismatic light. The vanes move subtly, and form a delicate three-dimensional transparent screen, contributing a layer of texture and a transitional scale between the pedestrian and monumentality of the building. Waterscape is activated by a series of programmed events that people move through and around, explore and discover; a series of time-based movements engaging the sidewalk on Santa Clara Street and flowing inward to the plaza. Programming of the artwork considers sonic and active qualities of the water, the velocity of water, water jet activity, and the fog vanes. The piece is illuminated at night for a distinctive evening identity.

Municipal Building/Site
New City Hall, San Jose, California
New City Hall
200 East Santa Clara Street
San Jose, CA 95113
United States

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San Jose Public Art Program
San Jose Public Art Program

Site integrated landscape architectural work
Stone, Metal
Granite, Stainless Steel, and Water