The Sculptural Williams Waterfall
Located in Houston Texas, the Williams Waterwall, is a multi story building that boasts a sculptural fountain as a part of the building. This structure is located at the south end of Williams Tower. The Waterwall and surrounding park were meant to go with the tower. Philip Johnson was the architect behind the fountain and the tower, he also happens to be the winner of the Pritzker Prize.
The construction of the fountain began in 1982. The Tower was constructed first, it being completed in 1983. The waterwall became fully functional in 1985. The actual cost of the project was never disclosed, the only features that were realized included the measurements and the water volume. The idea for the waterwall was to create a “horshoe of running water” opposite the tower. The fountain was designed in a semi circle and is 64 feet tall, symbolizing the 64 stories of the tower. The fountain is situated between 118 live oak trees. The front of the circle, which faces north, has a proscenium arch as the front.
There is roughly 46,5000 square feet of water that covers the interior of the fountain, while there is 35,000 square feet covering the exterior. The base of the fountain is made from black granite, while the main walls of the fountain are brick. The Romanesque arches are crafted from limestone. The water is recycled through the fountain every three hours and two minutes by an internal mechanism. The water rushes in channels of sheets from the narrower top rim of the circle, falling to the base below. The stunning display can be seen from various buildings around the site. The fact that a waterfall, in a building, in an urban area, exists at all creates an amazing focal point!
The waterwall is considered to be an integral part of the Houston Landscape. It is popular for tourists as well as for locals to visit. This park often plays hosts to concerts and picnics. The Waterwall actually sits on private property, but is open to the public, daily, from 10am to 10pm. The fountain played host to the wedding site of Oiler Quarterback Dan Pastorini, as well as the official site of the Republican National Convention in 1992. The city of Houston renamed the site on December 17, 2009, to honor the Houstonian for his impact on the area.
If you are ever in the Houston area, this is definitely a site worth checking out. Simply driving by the site will not do it justice, take some time walk into the building, and look at it from the inside and the outside. Whether you visit in the morning, evening, afternoon, or whenever, the fountain is sure to delight and inspire!