HomeGalleryOff The ShelfExhibitionsEngineeringConsultancyVideosContact

Vortex clock feature at Wessex Water HQ

Vortex clock feature close-up

The Vortex Water Clock was first developed as a commission for the reception area of the award-winning headquarters for Wessex Water in Bath, England.

After an initial briefing, a number of concepts were presented around the revolutionary idea of a central whirlpool providing the mechanics of a clock.

The final installation, called the Wessex Clock measures 3 metres tall. The 450mm diameter acrylic body is mounted on a 500mm diameter stainless steel base. A pair of coaxial acrylic columns contain two separate volumes of water. The inner column contains the vortex, which varies in height according to the minutes in the hour and fills over one hour. The volume of water in the outer column, with a float on top, indicates the hour of the day and fills over a twelve-hour period.

The inner column empties on the hour. At twelve noon, both columns empty together. Lighting within the feature causes the water to sparkle at the top of the vortex. At night, the lighting projects a further image on to the ceiling of the foyer.

This accurate time piece is controlled from the plant room below. Superb water clarity is ensured by using fully deionised water, a UV steriliser, in-line filters and environmentally friendly water treatment means. The plant is controlled using a custom-built, microprocessor-driven management system - which has an automatic ability to correct for winter/summer time changes. Maintenance signals are provided to the main building management system.