8th Street Water Cube
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The Water Cube is a functional piece of art that dispenses free, chilled, still and sparkling water. It’s strictly BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle) to encourage re-usable bottle use and discourage waste. To date, the Water Cube has provided 5,475 gallons of water to 57,456 people and kept an estimated 41,467 disposable bottles out of landfills. The 5’x5’ laminated glass cube sits atop an 18” stainless steel cylindrical base. Visually, the cube’s base melts away at night when the Water Cube is illuminated and appears to levitate. The cube is further animated by an internal LED light system that pulsates rhythmically—like a heartbeat —a reminder of life’s connection to water. The project also decreased the impervious area at the site with the addition of a pervious paver system and mounded landscape. These features allow more water to naturally percolate into the ground rather than being directed into the City’s storm water lines. Public drinking fountains have been disappearing from urban landscapes, swamped by a tsunami of disposable bottles. The Water Cube’s iconic shape reaffirms the importance of free, clean, public fountains. For a diverse population of residents, visitors, pedestrians—runners too! —it’s refreshing in both form and function.