The Oort Cloud Fountain Jean-Michel Othoniel

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.
New cultural heritage
in eleven Dutch cities
New cultural heritage
in eleven Dutch cities

Inspired by: the discovery made by astronomer Jan Hendrik Oort
Material: stainless steel beads with black, gold and silver coating, wire mesh
Size: 3.5 m high; scale 1.5 m diameter; water basin 3.8 m diameter
Location: next to the Martini church on the Breedeplaats square, in a park specially designed by the famous garden architect, Piet Oudolf

Jean-Michel Othoniel (France, 1964) became well known for his use of glass from Murano, with which he designs multicoloured sculptures in the form of large ‘beads’. His numerous works in public spaces illustrate unexpected aspects in the history of the location, or of the city, and create a magnificent atmosphere infused with colour and light. He designed a fountain based on the dance steps of Louis XIV for the Palace of Versailles.



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