|Jaume Plensa, 2004|
|black granite reflecting pool|
dual LED screen, glass brick sculptures
Height: 50 feet (15 m)
|Chicago, Illinois, Millennium Park|
Crown Fountain, located in Millennium Park, is an interactive public fountain in the Loop community area of Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, United States. Jaume Plensa (born 1955 in Barcelona, Catalonia) is an internationally renowned contemporary Artist and Sculptor. Granite (ˈɡrænɪt is a common and widely occurring type of intrusive, Felsic, igneous rock. This page is about reflecting pools in general for the pools in Washington D Glass brick, also known as glass block, is an architectural element used in areas where privacy or visual obscuration is desired while admitting light such as underground A foot (plural feet or foot; symbol or abbreviation ft or sometimes &prime – the prime symbol) is a non-SI unit The metre or meter is a unit of Length. It is the basic unit of Length in the Metric system and in the International Chicago (ʃɪˈkɑːgoʊ is the largest City by population in the state of Illinois and the American Midwest of the United States. The State of Illinois ( roughly ill-i-NOY is a state of the United States of America, the 21st to be admitted to the Union. Millennium Park is a public Park located in the Chicago Loop community area of Chicago within, United States. Millennium Park is a public Park located in the Chicago Loop community area of Chicago within, United States. A traditional fountain is an arrangement where water issues from a source ( Latin fons) fills a basin of some kind and is drained away Population According to the 2000 Census, 16388 people live in the Loop The City of Chicago is divided into seventy-seven community areas. Chicago (ʃɪˈkɑːgoʊ is the largest City by population in the state of Illinois and the American Midwest of the United States. Cook County is a county in the US state of Illinois. It is the second most populous county in the United States after Los Angeles The State of Illinois ( roughly ill-i-NOY is a state of the United States of America, the 21st to be admitted to the Union. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the Designed by artist Jaume Plensa, it opened in July 2004. Jaume Plensa (born 1955 in Barcelona, Catalonia) is an internationally renowned contemporary Artist and Sculptor.  The fountain consists of a black granite reflecting pool located between a pair of technically sophisticated opposing glass brick towers. Granite (ˈɡrænɪt is a common and widely occurring type of intrusive, Felsic, igneous rock. This page is about reflecting pools in general for the pools in Washington D Glass brick, also known as glass block, is an architectural element used in areas where privacy or visual obscuration is desired while admitting light such as underground The towers are 50 feet (15. A foot (plural feet or foot; symbol or abbreviation ft or sometimes &prime – the prime symbol) is a non-SI unit 2 m) tall and use complicated electronics. The metre or meter is a unit of Length. It is the basic unit of Length in the Metric system and in the International Electronics refers to the flow of charge (moving Electrons through Nonmetal conductors (mainly Semiconductors, whereas electrical Construction and design of the Crown Fountain cost $17 million. The United States dollar ( sign: $; code: USD) is the unit of Currency of the United States; it has also been  Throughout most of the warmer months, water continually cascades down the two sculptures, while water intermittently spouts through a nozzle located on each of the structures' front faces. A nozzle is a mechanical device or Orifice designed to control the characteristics of a Fluid flow as it exits (or enters an enclosed chamber or Pipe. The fountain is known for the digital videos of Chicago residents it displays continuously throughout the year.
The fountain has been praised by both city residents and trained architects for its artistic contribution to Millennium Park. An architect is a licensed individual who leads a design team in the Planning and Design of buildings and participates in oversight of Building Construction  It has a reputation as a public play area and allows people an escape from summer heat. When the National Weather Service issues summer heat advisories and the Governor of Illinois is compelled to declare state office buildings as official daytime cooling centers, the national press points to Crown Fountain as a respite not only for Chicagoans, but also for residents of the most remote reaches of the Chicago metropolitan area. The National Weather Service ( NWS) once known as the Weather Bureau is one of the six scientific agencies that make up the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration This article describes the United States National Weather Service (NWS The Governor of Illinois is the chief executive of the State of Illinois and the various agencies and departments over which the officer has jurisdiction as prescribed in the A cooling center is a temporary air-conditioned Public space set up by local authorities to deal with the health effects of a Heat wave. "Popular press" redirects here note that the University of Wisconsin Press publishes under the imprint "The Popular Press" The Chicago metropolitan area is the Metropolitan area associated with the city of Chicago in the United States and its suburbs  Weather permitting, the water operates from May 1st to approximately October 31st. 
Crown Fountain has found its way into Chicago pop culture. Popular culture (or pop culture) is the Culture — patterns of human activity and the symbolic structures that give such activities significance and importance — It is a popular subject for photographers and a common gathering place. Its use of video clips of local residents not only makes the fountain a place to see others and to be seen, but also makes it a place where hundreds of Chicagoans go to attempt to see themselves appearing on one of the fountain's two screens.  When surveillance cameras were installed atop the fountain, a public outcry led to their immediate removal. The fountain and the entire park in general are highly-regarded for their universal design. Universal design is a relatively new Paradigm that emerged from " Barrier-free " or " Accessible design " and " Assistive technology 
Crown Fountain, designed by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa, was unveiled during the July 16-18, 2004 grand opening celebrations for Millennium Park. Jaume Plensa (born 1955 in Barcelona, Catalonia) is an internationally renowned contemporary Artist and Sculptor. Millennium Park is a public Park located in the Chicago Loop community area of Chicago within, United States.  The park was conceived in 1998 as the capstone of Grant Park to celebrate the new millennium and to feature world-renowned architects, artists, designers, landscape architects, and urban planners. A capstone or coping stone is one of the finishing or protective stones that form the top of an exterior Grant Park (originally named Lake Park is a large Park (319 acres or 1  Within Millennium Park, the fountain is located on the east side of Michigan Avenue across from the Chicago Landmark Historic Michigan Boulevard District, north of the Art Institute of Chicago and south of the McCormick Tribune Plaza and Ice Rink between Madison and Monroe Streets. Michigan Avenue is a major north-south street in Chicago which runs at 100 east (except for one private block that runs at 125 east south of the Chicago River and at 132 East The Art Institute of Chicago is one of America's premier Fine art museums It sits with a northward backdrop that not only includes some of the tallest buildings in Chicago, but also includes some of the tallest buildings in the world, especially the skyscrapers along Randolph Street: Aon Center, One Prudential Plaza, Two Prudential Plaza, and Smurfit-Stone Building. This list of tallest buildings in Chicago ranks Skyscrapers by height in the U These are lists of Skyscrapers, ranked by structural height (vertical elevation from the base to the highest architectural or integral structural element of the A skyscraper is a tall continuously habitable Building. There is no official definition or a precise cutoff height above which a building may clearly be classified as a skyscraper Randolph Street is a street in Chicago Illinois, USA. It runs east-west through the Chicago Loop, carrying westbound traffic west from Michigan Avenue One Prudential Plaza (formerly known as the Prudential Building) is a 44 story structure in Chicago completed in 1955 as the Headquarters for Two Prudential Plaza is a Skyscraper that was built in Chicago in 1990. Smurfit-Stone Building is a 41 story 582 foot (177 meter Skyscraper located at 150 North Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago, Illinois. Skyward viewers also see the eastern backdrop of Lake Michigan. Lake Michigan is one of the five Great Lakes of North America, and the only one located entirely within the United States.
The $17 million construction and design cost was largely funded by the Crown family, who donated $10 million and for whom the fountain is named. Lester Crown (born 1926 is the son of Chicago financier Henry Crown (d  The Goodman family (Goodman Theatre) was also a large contributor. The Goodman Theatre is a Theater in Chicago 's Loop, and part of Chicago theatre.  The fountain's black granite reflecting pool measures 48 feet by 232 feet (15 m × 71 m) and has an approximate water depth of 0. A foot (plural feet or foot; symbol or abbreviation ft or sometimes &prime – the prime symbol) is a non-SI unit The metre or meter is a unit of Length. It is the basic unit of Length in the Metric system and in the International 25 inches (0. Inches redirects here To see the Les Savy Fav album see Inches. 6 cm). A centimetre ( American spelling: centimeter, symbol cm) is a unit of Length in the Metric system, equal to one hundredth  It includes two LED screens encapsulated in a glass brick superstructure, one at each end, measuring 50 feet by 23 feet by 16 feet (15. 2 m × 7. 0 m × 4. 9 m).  The project won the 2006 Bombay Sapphire prize for its design work with glass. 
The towers' front faces are animated through a continuous, dynamic exhibit of lights and electronic images. The bouncing ball animation (below consists of these 6 frames  While the LED screens periodically display clips of landscapes or natural waterfalls, the towers are known for displaying the faces of Chicago residents. Landscape comprises the visible features of an area of land including physical elements such as Landforms living elements of flora and fauna abstract elements such as lighting A waterfall is usually a geological formation resulting from water often in the form of a Stream, flowing over an Erosion -resistant rock About 1,000 faces of Chicagoans are displayed in random rotations using a Barco Show controller. Barco NV ( is a display Hardware manufacturer specialising in CRT projectors LCD projectors DLP projectors, LCoS projectors Show control is the use of Technology to link together and operate multiple Entertainment control systems in a coordinated manner  The artist intends to portray the social evolution of the city by updating the collection of images. eVolution is the third Album by eLDee, it was due to be released in 2008  The subjects were chosen from local schools, churches and community groups, and the filming began in 2001 at the downtown campus of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The School of the Art Institute of Chicago is one of America's premiere fine arts colleges located in Chicago, Illinois. Of the original 1,051 subjects filmed, 960 videos were determined to be usable for the project. A June 2007 article in the Chicago Sun-Times reported that many of the subjects who had their images digitized for the project had yet to see their own images, or hear of anyone who had seen them. A digital image is a representation of a two-dimensional Image using ones and zeros (binary  Each face is displayed for five minutes, one minute of which is devoted to spouting water.  There is brief period between the each five-minute video during which the sculpture is not lit. As a result, at most 12 faces appear per hour.
The water spouting from the front faces of the towers has the illusion of flowing from mouth's of displayed subjects. To achieve this effect, each video has a segment where the subject's lips are puckered, which is then timed to correspond to the spouting water, reminiscent of gargoyle fountains. In Architecture, a gargoyle is a carved stone Grotesque with a spout designed to convey water from a roof and away from the side of a building  When the water is not spouting out of the nozzle on the front of the tower, it cascades down each of the facades. A facade or façade (fəˈsɑːd is generally one side of the exterior of a Building, especially the front but also sometimes the sides and rear Images are shown 24 hours a day year-round, while the water feature only operates from mid-spring through mid-fall each year, weather permitting. In 2006, for example, the water feature opened on April 15.  Each glass tower is illuminated from within on three sides by approximately 70 color-changing Color Kinetics LED lighting fixtures per tower, while the fourth side features opposing Barco LED display screens. Philips Solid-State Lighting Solutions is a business unit within Philips Lighting's Luminaires group The outer Color Kinetics surfaces randomly display one of eight colors along with each of the inner opposing faces. At night some of the videos are replaced by images of nature or solid colors. Nature, in the broadest sense is equivalent to the natural world, physical universe, material world or material universe. 
After two architectural firms refused the contract to make Plensa's design a reality, the firm Krueck & Sexton Architects accepted it despite it being a departure from their residential and corporate office-dominated portfolio.  They designed a special stainless steel T-frame both to bear the gravity load of the 50 feet (15. In Metallurgy, stainless steel is defined as a Steel Alloy with a minimum of 11 Gravitation is a natural Phenomenon by which objects with Mass attract one another 2 m) walls and to withstand the lateral wind forces. The frame holds all the glass blocks and transfers the load to the base in a zigzag pattern. Rods measuring 0. 5 inches (12. 7 mm) in diameter anchor to the structure and project into the frame for lateral stability, while triangular corner brackets add support. 
The glass was custom made at a factory in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and fitted into small sections of the frame. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania ( often colloquially referred to as PA (its abbreviation by natives and Northeasterners is a state located in the Northeastern The glass is white glass rather than the usual green glass that results from iron impurities. Iron (ˈаɪɚn is a Chemical element with the symbol Fe (ferrum and Atomic number 26 Each block is 5 inches by 10 inches by 2 inches (13 cm × 25 cm × 5. 1 cm) with glass thin enough to avoid image distortion, with one out of the six faces of the block polished; the other five surfaces are textured. 
Crown Fountain has both cracks and a grate for drainage (pictured above right) to drain the 11,520 US gal (43,608 l/9,592 imp gal) of water per minute. Drainage is the natural or artificial removal of surface and sub-surface water from a given area US customary units, also known in the United States as English units or Imperial units (in reference to the British Empire) (but see English A gallon is a measure of Volume. It is in current use in the United States and still has limited use in many other English-speaking countries The litre or liter (see spelling differences) is a unit of Volume. Imperial units or the Imperial system is a collection of units first defined in the British Weights and Measures Act of 1824 A gallon is a measure of Volume. It is in current use in the United States and still has limited use in many other English-speaking countries  The water is filtered, pumped and recirculated through the fountain. Dual pump rooms below each tower draw water from a reservoir beneath the reflecting pool. There are twelve mechanical pumps which are regulated from a control room located in the underground parking garage beneath the fountain. 
Getting the water to the spout took some ingenuitgy. Although consideration was given to omitting an LED tile, it was determined that the images would look like they were each missing a tooth. Instead, one tile in each tower is recessed about 6 inches (15 cm) to allow the installation of 1 inch (2. 5 cm) clear tubing for the water feature.  The water continuously spills over the fountain down the sides of the towers and intermittently spouts from the nozzle.  Two essential custom fittings contribute to the artistic vision of the fountain: a custom glass block at the upper edge for guiding the water's descent while remaining unobtrusive, and a plastic nozzle fitted to the stainless steel frame to control the rate of waterflow and reduce liability to the city for any injuries sustained by the fountain's interactive participants.  The interactive participants are usually children playing in the stream from the water spout or under the cascade. Concern over the spouting water potentially knocking people down made the design a legal, as well as physical, challenge. 
The physical demands of LED screens, in particular the red, green, and blue long-life light bulbs and the requisite circuitry, created three major challenges: supporting the physical structure, combating heat buildup, and optimizing legibility of the display. An electronic circuit is a closed path formed by the interconnection of Electronic components through which an Electric current can flow  Plesna had used LED fixtures on previous projects, and thus had some experience with these issues.  The LED structure is not supported as a 50-foot (15 m) wall, but rather as segments that are noticeable by visible horizontal bands that show where the LED equipment is supported every few feet. The heat is handled by fans that cool the air at the bottom that works its way through the chimney-like tower. Legibility was determined to be optimal with LED lights 2 inches (5. 1 cm) behind the glass. 
LEDs were chosen as they were viewed as the lowest maintenance out of the color changing fixtures options.  LEDs differ from standard light bulbs because they fit into an electrical circuit so that illumination results from the movement of electrons in the semiconductor material. A filament is unnecessary, so the bulbs never burn out and do not get too hot. An electrical filament is a thread of Metal, usually Tungsten, which is used to convert Electricity into light in Incandescent light bulbs (as developed Fins were added to the screens to keep direct sunlight from hitting the LEDs.  ColorBlast 12 fixtures are used to illuminate the tower structures and glass in an attempt to meet Plesna's objective that the towers have a light and translucent appearance, with their internal structures reflecting light from behind the glass surface. In Optics, transparency (also called pellucidity) is the Material property of allowing The electronics were designed to be adaptable to the time of day, weather and season and to meet the desired century-long longevity and dependability objectives. 
An additional challenge was designing the structure to facilitate interior access for ongoing maintenance and repairs, while accommodating two levels of underground parking underneath. The challenge was solved by combining a T-bar grid to absorb weight, with about 150 "outriggers" or "tiebacks" inserted through the video wall to support the glass blocks and absorb wind loads. This design allows for the removal of individual glass blocks for cleaning or repair without disruption to the display. The filtered air inside the towers helps minimize the need for cleaning.  In addition to the interior access for technical repairs, Crown Fountain is reputed for its exemplary non-discriminatory barrier-free accessibility because its interactivity is not limited to the able-bodied. Barrier-free building modification consists of modifying Buildings or facilities so that they can be used by the physically disadvantaged or Disabled. 
The control center for the synchronization of images, water flow, and lighting color and intensity is beneath one of the towers in a 550 square feet (51 m²) room. The square foot is an Imperial unit / US customary unit (non- SI non- metric) of Area, used mainly in the United States M^2 redirects here For other uses see M². CM2 redirects here The room houses high-definition video servers and equipment temperature sensors. Hard drives contain all the individual files of faces. Generally, the computer programs automatically perform tasks such as determining when the face will pucker and, if weather conditions permit, when to turn the water on and off. It was determined that using low- rather than high-resolution images was both less expensive and looked better on the displays. Image resolution describes the detail an Image holds The term applies equally to Digital images film images and other types of images  A Barco Show Controller selects the sequence of faces one at a time and along with a random tower lighting selection of one of eight LED colors programmed into an Electronic Theatre Controls (ETC) Emphasis® control system. Electronic Theatre Controls ( ETC) is a privately held corporation with global headquarters in Middleton Wisconsin, United States  At night, the ETC system controls spotlights that illuminate the cascading water and are dimmed by special wet-use location ground fault circuit interrupters. A residual current device ( RCD) is similar to that of a residual current circuit breaker ( RCCB) is an Electrical wiring device that disconnects  The control room covers 26 parking spaces in the underground parking garage, which costs the city $100,000 in terms of the opportunity cost of lost revenue. Opportunity cost or economic opportunity loss is the value of a product forgone to produce or obtain 
The Crown Fountain became the focus of a public controversy when the city added surveillance cameras atop of each of the towers in November 2006. Closed-circuit television ( CCTV) is the use of Video cameras to transmit a signal to a specific place limited set of monitors Purchased through a $52 million Department of Homeland Security grant to the Chicago area, the cameras were part of a surveillance system augmenting eight other cameras covering the entirety of Millennium Park.  The city claimed the cameras, similar to those used throughout city at high-crime areas and traffic intersections, were intended to remain on the towers for several months until permanent, less intrusive replacements were secured.  City officials had consulted the architects who collaborated with Plensa on the tower designs, but Plensa himself had not been notified.  Public reaction was negative, as bloggers and the artistic community decried the cameras on the towers as inappropriate and a blight.  The Chicago Tribune quickly published an article concerning the cameras and the public reaction. The Chicago Tribune is a major daily Newspaper based in Chicago, Illinois, United States, and owned by the Tribune Company The next day the cameras were removed, despite the city's claims that they were harmless. Plensa supported the removal.