WET Design - Glacia, The Shops at Crystals
The Artists: These fountains were created by WET, the design firm responsible for the fountains at Bellagio and The Volcano at Mirage. WET, also known as WET Design, is a water feature design firm based in Los Angeles, California. Founded in 1983 by former Disney Imagineers Mark Fuller, Melanie Simon, and Alan Robinson, the company has designed over two hundred fountains and water features using water, fire, ice, fog, and lights. and holds more than 60 patents pertaining to lighting, water control, and specialty fountain devices that use air compression technology.
The Installation: Glacia is WET’s first attempt at taming frozen water, Glacia is a series of 15 frozen columns that protrude from a pool on the mall floor. Rods within the columns chill or warm to carve sculpture patterns. It “cools” guests with large pillars of carved ice that rise as tall as 15 feet. As each rises,
it is magically whittled into intricate patterns while mesmerizing spectral light contributes to a one-of-a-kind sensory experience. Lights illuminate the columns, and the feature can mix various levels of air during the freezing process to produce frosty white or crystal clear columns. With thirteen Ice Pillars rising 15 vertical feet, the core of each Pillar is maintained at a constant minus 5 degrees fahrenheit to keep them frozen. It also takes up to 36 hours for the columns to re-freeze, which is no small feat when you considered it’s located just 50 feet from the entrance. It’s a visual experience that never repeats itself. The columns allow passers-by the opportunity to touch the ice. The Glacia experience is accompanied by a tonal poem written by Grammy-winning former Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart, who also wrote and performed the soundtrack of the revamped Mirage volcano show.
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