London studio rAndom International has created a 20-metre tower of falling water at a former coal mine in Germany (+ slideshow).
The Tower: Instant Structure for Schacht XII by interactive design studio rAndom International features a rectangular frame from which four huge curtains of water fall to the ground and cycles up to 30,000 litres of water each minute. Visitors can view the rain storm from afar or step inside - if they don't mind getting wet.
"It is a sensuous adventure: the sound of falling water, the humidity, the glimmering water walls in the sunlight," said the curators. "The sound of the resulting rain storm is intensely loud and a sensation of moisture lingers in the air."
"By bringing such large quantities of water into the controlled form of a building, rAndom International investigate if a structural purpose can wrought upon this otherwise chaotic element," they add.
The monumental Tower structure has been installed at the Zollverein industrial complex in Land Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany, a World Heritage site that consists of a historical coal mine and a range of early twentieth century buildings.
The giant shower forms part of the music and arts festival Ruhr Triennale 2013 and intends to sit in contrast to the "solid and static architecture" of the former coal mine, the curators explain. Each year the international festival transforms industrial venues in the region into locations for music, art and performance events.
Here's a video featuring the Tower:
The installation was commissioned by arts organisation Urbane Künste Ruhr. It is the first outdoor project by rAndom International and opened in Essen on 23 August. Tower will be open from 10am-1am every day through to 6 October 2013.
Formed in 2005 by former Royal College of Art students Hannes Koch, Florian Ortkrass and Stuart Wood, rAndom International has created a number of installations involving audience participation.
Last year, the studio invited visitors to play in the rain in an installation at the Barbican in London. The rain shower installation was reported to be the most popular installation in the Barbican's history, with 12 hour queues to get in. Read our original story about the Rain Room »
Other weather-related features to appear on Dezeen recently include a cloud that is caught inside a transparent two-storey cube and a series of indoor clouds.
Here's more information from rAndom International:
Tower: Instant Structure for Schacht XII
Commissioned by Urbane Künste Ruhr for Ruhrtriennale 2013, 'Tower' will be on view daily from 10am-1am at night, until 6 October 2013.
Known for their experimental installations that explore natural phenomena, London based studio Random International have created a monumental, performative structure at World Heritage Zollverein using its plentiful, native material: water (6 million cubic metres of which have to be pumped out of the former mines every year to warrant the structural integrity of the entire region).
Random are cycling almost 30,000 litres of water per minute to create a monolithic form, an ephemeral tower that appears and disappears instantaneously. The sound of the resulting rain storm is intensely loud and a sensation of moisture lingers in the air.
Through the senses, 'Tower' explores possibilities for engagement wit, and access to, an historic, industrial space at a scale that had not originally been intended for human and social use. In sharp contrast to the solid and static architecture of Zeche Zollverein, the 'simulated structure' of the Tower is transient, its watery presence a temporary spectre.
By bringing such large quantities of water into the controlled form of a building, Random International investigate if a structural purpose can wrought upon this otherwise chaotic element. The architecture of the space becomes performative, inviting those within it to experience the water of Zeche Zollverein in a uniquely physical and intimate way. And get absolutely soaked in the process.
The Ruhrtriennale is the international arts festival hosted by the Ruhr metropolitan area. The venues of the Ruhrtriennale are the region’s outstanding industrial monuments, transformed each year into spectacular sites for music, fine art, theatre, dance, and performance. At the centre of all this are contemporary artists seeking a dialog with industrial spaces and between the disciplines.
A new artistic director every three years provides the festival with ever-new impulses. Under the artistic directorship of Heiner Goebbels, the Ruhrtriennale will become a laboratory and an open platform for current developments of the international world of the arts.
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