A glimpse of The Oort Cloud


The Parisian Studio Othoniel has its workshop in Saint Die, near the Swiss border. Project manager Thomas Patrix comes by to check on the progress of making The Oort Cloud Fountain. Jean-Michel Othoniel prefers not to reveil too much, but we may shoot a short preview.


The fountain is an ode to the famous astronomer Jan Hendrik Oort, who was born in Franeker. His hypothesis concerning a ‘cloud’ of billions of comet-like objects orbiting our solar system represented a breakthrough in astronomy. The fountain was designed as a series of waterfalls spilling out of a basin and down past a vertical chain of pearls, dark as night. One of the pearls has the silver-grey colour of the moon, while another is gilded in the colour of the sun. A golden open-worked grid, shedding a mist of fine droplets which fall into the basin, depicts the Oort cloud itself.