Silence by Tadao Ando and Blair Associates


Silence by Tadao Ando

Clouds of mist erupt from the base of two trees in this London water feature designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando.

Silence by Tadao Ando

The trees sit in a raised granite-edged pool in front of the Connaught Hotel in Mayfair.

Silence by Tadao Ando

Atomisers hidden at the base of the trees create clouds of water vapour for fifteen seconds every fifteen minutes.

Silence by Tadao Ando

Glass lenses below the surface of the water contain fibre optics that illuminate the basin by night.

Silence by Tadao Ando and Blair Associates

The feature, which forms part of a wider project to upgrade the surrounding streets, was delivered in collaboration with UK architects Blair Associates.

Silence by Tadao Ando

More stories about landscape architecture on Dezeen »

Silence by Tadao Ando

Photography is by Adrian Brookes.

Silence by Tadao Ando

Here are some more details from developer Grosvenor:

Mount Street unveiling marks completion of first phase of street improvement

Grosvenor is celebrating the end of the first phase of the property company’s £10million programme to improve key streets across its London estate in Mayfair and Belgravia. The ambitious project is being undertaken in partnership with Westminster City Council.

Silence by Tadao Ando and Blair Associates

‘Silence’, a new water feature designed by the Japanese architect philosopher Tadao Ando, will be unveiled at the event. The feature was jointly commissioned by Grosvenor and the Connaught hotel. The street improvements are based on the understanding that the space between buildings is as important as the buildings themselves. Ever-increasing traffic volume, and a mass of unnecessary signage and other ‘clutter’, have diminished the quality of London’s streets. The works aim to enhance the experience for all those who live, work and visit, particularly pedestrians. Unnecessary signage has been removed and pavements upgraded and extended, with two new pedestrian areas introduced to the street. The completion of the works on Mount Street follows a similar scheme on Elizabeth Street in Belgravia.

Silence by Tadao Ando

Commenting ahead of the Mount Street event Peter Vernon, Chief Executive, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, said: “With over 300 years experience of managing and developing property in Mayfair and Belgravia we recognise that places are about more than buildings. The appearance of streets, and the public space around buildings, is fundamental to the long-term success of the London neighbourhoods we manage. “Large-scale works like these require a long-term outlook but we can already see the results. This is only the first phase of our programme, plans for the next wave of projects are already well underway.”

Silence by Tadao Ando

The improvements to Mount Street and Elizabeth Street were delivered through an innovative funding arrangement. Westminster City Council invested the funds need to pay for the work with Grosvenor, a long-standing property owner in the area, delivering the improvements. After five years from completion of the works Grosvenor will make a refund to Westminster equivalent to the project cost.

Silence by Tadao Ando

Cllr Colin Barrow, Leader of Westminster City Council, said: “We are delighted with the works which will bring huge improvements to this historic part of the capital. Our innovative finance agreement means significant enhancements to local streets, roads and open spaces, with the council’s initial investment being reimbursed by the land owners, who will also benefit from a boost in the value of the area in the long term. It is particularly poignant that the fountain outside the Connaught Hotel bears a memorial to Sir Simon Milton, who as Leader of the council did so much to pioneer the joint working between the private and public sector that has brought such improvements to the city.”

  • Beautiful

  • Tree A asked Tree B, "Why are we being singled out?".

  • stylembe

    Beautiful! I am reminded of Fujiko Nakaya's fog sculptures.

  • Hercule Poirot

    Mist in London. What an original idea. It's like bringing water to the sea. Where they paid for this or is it just a practical joke ?

  • bill

    great. because london clearly isn't damp enough.

  • aaron b

    sidewalks in philly do this for free

  • fluidityjim

    I think it would look better if the details were more refined, and the object was more purified. For instance, The vertical joints around the stone panels could have been colored to match the panels and disappear better. All the grating looks mechanical and unsophisticated, could have been much more beautifully refined. Especially the innermost of the three grates, which has no reason to be above the other elements, and even if that was desired, would have been more successful if it floated a few mms above the plane of the water's surface. The misting nozzles are to close to the grating, so they show as points rather than support a general field cloud effect. From the photos, we might suspect the misting system is just a little too small to create a truly good vapor form. I like the interior paving, and wonder what the white material is between the glass diffusers. All this is about tailoring, but conceptually, I like this very much. So much, that I wish there was a bench or something somewhere around, so that one might spend real time near the installation to absorb its deeper qualities.

  • The fog is produced by a Koolfog system. Atomizing nozzles were placed such that the water line did not interfere with the fog during operation. Still photos don't give it justice. Beautiful…

  • Wot —no night shots?

  • zinu

    really great !!! ANDO rocks…heavenly effect….

  • It's not only a beautiful idea, it envolves the environment getting it peaceful look, without mention that is a memorial fountain, it would be great if we could improve
    more simple areas with the touch of design, just like this one.

  • steampunk

    nice! – reminds me of the entriy of the trailerpark competition by

  • Miriam Salomon

    It looks a lot like Olafur Eliasson’s ‘Your natural denudation inverted’ (1999).

  • alex

    Perfect for when crowds get out of hand, replace fog with sleeping gas!

  • Great, could it be programmed to erupt beneath al fresco micturators

  • Looks interesting – beautiful even – but I wish Dezeen would publish a plan.