Ocmis are proud to have worked as the specialist water feature M&E design and Installation Engineers for the “Forgotten Streams” art work outside the Norman Foster Stirling prize winning Bloomberg office in The City.
Concept behind the Sculpture
The City’s lost river, the Walbrook, once flowed across the Bloomberg site. The water feature is in three parts, two pools on the west Square and one pool on the East Square, recreates the sense of a tidal river flowing under the building, so visiting public can imagine a London from a distant Pre-Roman time.
Creating the vision
Cristina Iglesias took inspiration for the Forgotten Streams artwork from the Walbrook River. The riverbed effect is composed of sheets of bronze that are moulded into a riverbed of intertwined tree roots, leaves, mud and vegetation.
Ocmis worked closely on site with Cristina Inglesias, the works renowned Spanish artist, as she sculptured the flowing water effects over the exposed river beds in the pools.
Over 40 individual sources of water are introduced into each pool at differing levels. During commissioning, an Ocmis Engineer could make the fine adjustments to each of the trickling streams into the pool from a tablet computer web-linked to the main control panel in the basement. Cristina Inglesias was then able to create her inspiration of a tidal water effect draining through the network of roots and vegetation.
There are three modes of operation for the Water Feature.
The feature water appears as a small stream running through the artwork and across the feature. Most of the artwork is uncovered and the features will operate at a relatively low flow.
Additional water issues from the perimeter of the sculptural reliefs and flows over the artwork into the central streams. The water outlets are programmable and regulated, creating the mysterious and gentle effects that are central to the Forgotten Streams installation. The flow rate of the system is highest in tributary mode.
The pools are able to reach their flood levels in 20 minutes, can be maintained at the flood level and drain down again, returning to one of the other operating modes.
The Water Feature has a state of the art treatment system with water continually recycled, filtered and cleaned. Captured rainwater within the pools is used in part to top up the system.
Tim Hare, Project Director, with Main Contractor Sir Robert MCAlpine said, “Ocmis have completed a complex (by any standards) design, working closely with a high profile artist and her Spanish “Artisan Contractor”. They have executed the build and commissioning in a patient and cooperative manner, working closely with Mechanical, Waterproofing and Stonework contractors to produce a first class installation. They have done everything that has been asked of them”