Reclaiming the Water Tower as Public Art

Reclaiming the Water Tower as Public Art

Continuing on the topic of NYC rooftops…

Water towers are necessary structures in most cities, especially in New York City.  Typically, buildings over 6 stories require water towers in order to provide enough water pressure to domestic plumbing lines (as well as provide a stopgap measure of protection in case of a fire) by employing gravity.

Recently, Architizer featured an art installation by Tom Fruin which uses “polychromatic fragments of discarded and recycled Plexiglas Fruin collected from building sites all over the city”.  At RenovatingNYC, we love luxury and high-end work, but we also believe in the importance of REDUCING, REUSING, and RECYCLING.  Mr. Fruin has done a great job here of reusing and recycling for the purpose of improving the cityscape.  Architizer’s post also provides a recap of some interesting iterations and repurposing of the water tank in the urban landscape which is also worth a look, especially the beautiful Watertower chair, which was fabricated from the shell of a dismantled tank, pictured at the end of this post…

Enter, Architizer…

“Watertower” by Tom Fruin

The 10,000 or so watertowers sprinkled throughout New York are strange objects, instantly recognizable and reassuringly familiar, yet relics of an old and utterly foreign industrial spirit that vacated the city (or at least, most of it boroughs) long ago. Nowadays, the stubby cylindrical containers have become fashionable as mediums for artistic interventions, which seize on both the watertower’s bluntly honest materiality (see the Watertower chair, fabricated from the shell of a dismantled tank) and its latent potential to transverse time and even functionality, for that matter (see the Water Tank project featuring designs from a diverse casts of artists and characters alike, from Ed Ruscha to Jay-Z, or the transformation of the city’s useless infrastructure into art).

The latest in the trend is artist Tom Fruin‘s imaginatively transparent and colorful “Watertower” project, which he recently installed on a DUMBO rooftop. The piece, which opens this Thursday, June 7, maintains the proportions and size of a typical water tank, but has been rendered a glass tapestry of salvaged materials. Visible from Lower Manhattan, the sculpture is a De-Stijlesque jigsaw of upwards 1,000 polychromatic fragments of discarded and recycled Plexiglas Fruin collected from building sites all over the city. During the day, the sun sets the watertower ablaze, while at night, projection designer Jeff Sugg will illuminate the structure with a lightshow boogie woogie planned to play every nightfall throughout the year.

via Architizer Blog » Reclaiming the Water Tower as Public Art.

The Watertower Chair, fabricated from the shell of a dismantled water tower.