French brothers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec brightened the Champs-Élysées in Paris with a series of six 43-foot-high glittering fountains. The structures composing Les Fontaines des Champs-Élysées, commissioned by the Fonds Pour Paris, a private fund for public arts projects, are covered in a total of 197 linear feet of LEDs. Two hundred fifty people—which included designers, fabricators, and consultants—were needed to complete the three-year project led by the Bouroullecs. “Water, light, and movement interweave to create the right balance between the historical and the modern,” Erwan says of the installation.
Check out the process of installing the fountains below >
A metalworker casts a tube of bronze-and-aluminum alloy that forms the armatures of Les Fontaines des Champs-Élysées, a permanent Paris installation by Studio Bouroullec.
Aluminum gears power its underground hydraulic system, which pumps 25,000 cubic feet of water a day through the fountains.
A fabricator attaches two layers of Swarovski crystals, custom engineered by the manufacturer to withstand outdoor use, around one of the tubes.
Ronan Bouroullec, standing to the right of a technician, surveys a test of an assembled fountain, which has sensors that, at night, automatically illuminate LEDs sandwiched between the crystal cylinders.
Each of the structures rotates half a turn per minute around a central mast, to which water is propelled up from the basin before cascading down the cylinders.
The fountains have been erected in defunct 19th-century basins in the Rond-Point des Champs-Élysées, the avenue’s traffic circle that’s halfway between the Place de la Concorde and the Arc de Triomphe.