Creekshow 2017

FIRE ON WATER | Waller Creek Conservancy | Creekshow 2017 Submission

Austin, Texas

FIRE ON WATER is an architectural installation intended to evoke awareness of erosion in Waller Creek, as well as a dynamic interaction with nature and art. Drawing from the physical process of erosion and chemical weathering, particularly the dissolution of carbon in the karstic landscape, the formal design is defined by a 50’ long contiguous flame. The linear structure celebrates fire as light in a single elegant strip, illuminating the creek and giving way to a fiery spectacle. Conceptually, the element of fire is an abstract characterization of the erosive agents which continue to affect Waller Creek. The harsh, corrosive properties of fire make it an intuitively perceivable gesture towards the processes of disintegration and physical transformation.

The structure is comprised of sheet metal sleeves housing gas pipes, fittings, and controls, and attaches to gabions that rest atop the creekbed. While the fire appears to be floating on water, the structure erects inches from the surface and emits a low, 6” flame. It is positioned at the center of the creek, in calm water south of the tunnel below 7th street, with adequate distance from the creek walls, vegetation, and a pedestrian path guardrail. A steel enclosure on the concrete platform above the creek is proposed to contain gas tanks, a thermostatic valve, manifold, and supply to structure. Pipes from the tanks are proposed to be fastened in place parallel to the edge of the creek bed and feed the structure at three equal intervals, providing a consistent flow of gas.

DESIGN TEAM: JSDS + Sarabi Studio