The fountain is an ode to the world-famous astronomer Jan Hendrik Oort, born in Franeker. His assumption that a ‘cloud’ of billions of comet-like objects moves around our solar system marked a breakthrough in astronomy. The fountain’s design consists of a series of waterfalls flowing from a bowl into a basin along a vertical chain of pearls in colours of the night. One of the pearls is silver-coloured, like the colour of the moon, another is gilded, the colour of the sun. The ‘Oort Cloud’ itself is a haze of fine droplets falling into the bowl from a gold-coloured wire mesh structure.
Beads of stainless steel with black, golden and silver coating, wire mesh
3.5 m high; scale 1.5 m diameter; basin 3.8 m diameter
Source of inspiration: the discovery by astronomer Jan Hendrik Oort
Location: near the church Martinikerk on the Breedeplaats, in a small park created for this purpose by the renowned landscape architect Piet Oudolf.
Address: 8801 KA Franeker
Jean-Michel Othoniel (1964) gained great fame with his experimental use of glass from Murano (Italy). He designs multicoloured sculptures in the form of large ‘beads’. His numerous works in the public space illuminate unexpected aspects of the history of a specific location or city and create a magnificent atmosphere of colour and light. For the Palace of Versailles, he designed a fountain based on the dance steps of Louis XIV.