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London's Newest and Most Beautiful Water Feature?

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Thursday, 9 June 2011

London's Newest and Most Beautiful Water Feature?

The fountain and statue that recently stood in Carlos Place, opposite the Connaught Hotel, have had a dramatic upgrade.

Outside the Connaught now, is this!


The kidney shaped infinity pool in the background has replaced the old fountain. The mirror smooth surface of the water plays across glass lenses. The materials and finish are absolutely immaculate.


For most of the time the water calmly trickles serenely over the edge but periodically vents around the two trees, encircled by the pool, begin to emit a beautiful mist. And then this happens:




It is  surprising, exciting and relaxing all at once, quite the most beautiful water feature I think I have ever seen. My video doesn't do it justice and I hear that when it is lit up at night it looks even better.

The work is by Tadao Ando, one of Japan's most respected architects, and a man often referred to as "the world 's greatest living architect." The piece is entitled "Silence". It has been jointly commissioned by the Connaught Hotel, The Grosvenor Estate and Westminster City Council.

Previously the site had been home to another fountain and a statue of a nymph. Both were ""‘A Gift to the City of Westminster from the President of the Italian Republic 20th November 1987. Sponsored by the Italian Banks in London"

The statue of a nymph will shortly be returning to the new plinth you can see in front of the fountain. Whilst the original  base of the fountain is now in nearby Mount Street Gardens.


The original statue is by Emilio Greco and dates to 1973. 

More on Tadao Ando here. Is this his only London work?

I will post again, after the official unveiling, when the statue is in place and the ensemble is complete

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2 Comments:

At 11 June 2011 at 12:09 , Blogger LondonRemembers said...

It looks lovely - I'm looking forward to seeing it. The original statue never looked happy where it was. In 2008, in Padua, Italy, I spotted a statue that looked familiar and back home, comparing photos, it was exactly this statue. Makes you wonder which came first and, are there any more?

 
At 11 June 2011 at 17:45 , Blogger Peter Berthoud said...

Thanks for this. I agree it was looking in a sorry state, dirty and unloved. I have no idea how many Nymphs were cast, never knew there was Paduan twin!

I am hoping to go and see the Ando again at night this week. The glass lenses in the pool have lights behind them and the trees too are hung with fairy lights. Will post the pics here.

By the way I tried to email you a couple of memorial pics and got an invalid address message. If you email me here I will try and resend.

All the very best,

Pete

 

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