The foundation for Open Channel Flow — a 60-ft.-tall public artwork built from steel water pipe and featuring a pump-it-yourself outdoor shower — is now in the ground at the Sabine Water Pump Station. Over the fence to the south is the new Lee and Joe Jamail Skatepark. When the structure is complete, sweaty skaters — or really, anyone on the north side of Buffalo Bayou Park who’s looking for a quick wet thrill — will be able to stand over the 6-ft.-diameter stainless steel drain cover, yank the rubber handle on the adjacent pump, and get doused by “the equivalent of a few cups” of water, released from the showerhead hanging 30 feet overhead.
But dude: Don’t forget about the blinking light! A strobe at the very top of the structure will flash with each pump. Which will cue bored office workers viewing from Downtown to mark another notch in their cubicles.
The original site:
The design is the work of New York artist Matthew Geller, but Metalab architects Joe Meppelink and Andrew Vrana are working to get it built here. The sculpture is part of a series of works funded by the Houston Arts Alliance and the Public Works Department. The budget for Open Channel Flow: $154,500.
- Open Channel Flow [Metalab]
- Open Channel Flow [Matthew Geller]
- 8 public art projects are set for completion in 2009 [Houston Chronicle]
- Matthew Geller’s ‘Open Channel Flow’ [Arts in Houston]
- Downtown Skatepark: Build It and Maybe They Will Go Away [Swamplot]
- The Art of Lake Houston Purification: As Clean As It Gets [Swamplot]