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