Shijiazhuang Marriot Fountain

Year: 2010

Work completed at Earth Asia Design Group, Shanghai, China.

These fountain proposals were for the SJZ Marriott Hotel, in Shijiazhuang, a city of 10 million in northern China. Option 4 was chosen and developed as depicted. It was never built however.

Text from the slides at left:

Marriott Hotel was founded in 1927 in Washington DC originally as a Root Beer stand; it’s origins are in food service and did not become a hotel chain until 1967.

Option 1 proposes a grid of abstracted emerging fizz entities indicative of overexcited soda. The water fountain in the grid area would be constantly running while the overflow runs down the grade change in parallel to the adjacent stairs. The logo of the Marriott would be a color-matched granite but would not show the entire circle of the logo because the design suggests that there is more that happens at Marriott than meets the eye. The juxtaposition of the logo to the grid also merits the identity’s distinction of a high level of service and hospitality (and not that of a generic, run-of-the-mill hotel).

Lighting could be done through the logo if it were a veneer (backlit).

Option 2 proposes a floating set of 12 cubes that responds in motion to the relatively fast stream of water moving across a black granite base. Each cube would be tethered and allow a certain amount of movement. The water jets could alternate when firing so as to promote the gyration of the cubes. Cubes would be die-cut in brushed aluminum with color-matched red (to Marriott’s logo) glass face that would glow (backlit) at night. Cubes are grouped in two’s to highlight the hotel’s attention to relationships in their service (the number 2 signifies relationship in Chinese numerology).

Option 3 proposes eight frosted glass hill islands laid on an alternating water bubble jet grid. Each row would raise up in either a clear order or a random fashion with the preceding row subsiding. This signifies the waves of people that come through Marriott’s doors but the islands that interrupt that flow provide visionary respite to those in need of high quality service.

The overflow cascades down the grade change in parallel to the adjacent stairs. Colors of the glass islands could be changed.

This fountain does not propose a significant amount of water to be present at any given time; it functions more like a dry fountain than as a continuously wet surface.

Option 4 proposes eight sculptural flower pods that causes the water to vibrate, sending ripples out in an otherwise reserved reflecting pool. Each flower pod would have a mechanism that releases water in such a manner that would cause the ripples to radiate out. They would be created from frosted glass or resin and brushed aluminum. Each would glow softly at night.

The ripples that reach the end of the pool would overflow gently onto the otherwise dry granite steps leading down to the road. This is such a quiet design that it may be more elegant to make all the flowers a soft yellow.