International water feature specialist Crystal has joined forces with contemporary artist, Jaume Plensa to create an art installation for the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa Tower in Dubai, which is over 800 metres tall. The sculpture called World Voices uses 196 cymbals to represent the 196 countries of the world and symbolises the Burj Khalifa being a collaboration of people from across the globe. ‘The residential lobby area is a meeting place of diverse cultures and nationalities – a metaphor of the diversity of our global society.’ Explains artist, Jaume Plensa. ‘World Voices is a homage to this diversity and a celebration of life.’
Cast in bronze and brass alloy and plated with 18-carat gold, the cymbals are horizontally suspended on titanium rods anchored at the bottom of two pools, symbolising reeds in a lake. Finished by hand, the cymbals create a distinct timbre as they are struck by dripping water, which Jaume Plensa compared to the sound of water falling on leaves. The droplets of water fall approximately 60 feet from the atrium’s gold-leaf ceiling through 25 mm diameter openings.
Crystal developed the gravity-fed water controls, which are designed to create bigger, natural droplets. Crystal’s senior associate, Rob Mikula says, ‘It sounds like a simple idea, and in fact it looks simple, but to generate the right sound at the right time intervals dictated by the artist was challenging. It was a fascinating project that gave us all an added appreciation of the medium in which we work every day. It is truly inspirational to have the opportunity to collaborate with a public artist of the importance of Jaume Plensa. His ideas concerning water are simple yet very dramatic.’