This vortex globe water feature was designed and engineered
for NESTA, the National Endowment for Science Technology
and The Arts.
A bespoke, 800 mm diameter, acrylic
globe stands on the bead-blasted stainless steel plinth
which is polished to a mirror finish on the top. The vortex
is generated by the tuned application of a pump and nozzles
forming inlets and an outlet. The water is always in a
state of flux – a balance between the pumped flow
and the effects of vortical motion under the influence
of gravity. The movement of people in the offices is sensed
by the custom-built microprocessor which drives the vortex
through a feedback control system. The intelligent software
learns how to react on a daily basis. Three vortex control
programs are provided.
The vortex rises to fill the globe.
As it rises, its reflection is seen in the mirrored surface
of the plinth, adding another dimension to the feature.
Lighting, projected through the vortex, creates an ever-changing
display above the globe. The globe, when full, holds about
250 litres of water which must be crystal-clear at all
times. This is ensured by using fully deionised water
and a bypass recirculation loop with UV steriliser, in-line
filters and environmentally-friendly water treatment means.
The whole volume of water is contained in two linked tanks.
Simon Tegala, a NESTA Fellow, commissioned
the work having proposed that the intensity of a vortex
of water should reflect the movement of people within
the NESTA offices. He suggested that by having movement
sensors across the space it would be possible to control
The technology that is embodied
within this water feature is unique and the designs and
processes behind it are protected by patent applications.
This design has granted patent and design registrations.