Muhammed Ali Center, Louisville, KY
Athena Tacha, Artist
The feature element of the plaza designed by Athena Tacha is a central water feature that is composed of 48 cast glass columns from 4’ to 12’ tall which are filled with flowing water that flows over the top of the column and cascade down the surface of the cast glass columns. The pump for the water at the bottom of the columns has an aerator which introduces large air bubbles that float up the column of water. These columns of flowing water and air bubbles are illuminated from beneath with LED lights that are programmed to rotate colors at night.
As water flows down the surface of the columns it flows into the depressed divot of the glass texture by its capillary action but pops off the surface from the force of the flowing water, creating a unique effect of water spraying off the surface of the glass surface like a fine mist. The water that fills the fountain and the columns originates at a glass ‘waterfall’ at the top of the plaza, and flows down a runnel into the fountain.
This waterfall is also created with cast glass, though the texture on this is more animated because of the large flow of water.