City of Pasadena Public Art Program
R.D. Olson Development
Pasadena Waterfall
Alessandro Marianantoni

47-foot-long interactive gateway to promote water conservation. LED, aluminum and plastic, with touch screen Point Of Information


Pasadena Waterfall
Art Concept

The commission, with a marked awareness of the current condition, starts from one of the most basic elements of the earthly ecosystem to encourage citizens to reconsider its cultural relationship with the ever increasingly fragile stability of the planet.

The work reflects the question of water consumption in a contemporary narrative in hopes of stimulating realistic reflection on behavior regarding water usage.

This project celebrates in a modern language the beauty of the water in one of its most magnificent manifestations: a waterfall

The Switzer Waterfall, located in the Angeles National Forest along the Arroyo Seco, was the inspiration for this work.

Pasadena Waterfall
Arroyo Seco

Stretching from the San Gabriel Mountains, the Arroyo Seco starts at Red Box near Mount Wilson and proceeds through the mountain. It gorges for eleven miles until it enters the urban plain, through Pasadena, South Pasadena and north-east of Los Angeles to the confluence with the L.A. River near Elysian park.

Arroyo Seco River is home to hundreds of species of fauna and flora. The river offers amazing variety of experiences for walkers and hikers including areas for camping and picnic. The river flows through solid smoothed rock and falling on numerous waterfalls forming deep pools.

Pasadena Waterfall

A watershed is that area of land, a bounded hydrologic system, within which all living things are inextricably linked by their common water course and where, as humans settled, simple logic demanded that they become part of a community.

John Wesley Powell

Pasadena Waterfall
Drought in California

Droughts are really crucial events. Droughts have social, economic, and environmental implications. For example, drought negatively impacts both the quantity and quality of water supplies and often also the political pressures increase diversions of water away from preserving the natural environment.

Droughts are definitely a recurring California's climate feature. In the last century, the most significant statewide droughts occurred in 1929-1934, 1976-1977, and 1987-1992, and a less severe drought occurred in 2007-2009. Since 2012, California has faced a drought of extreme proportions, with record-high temperatures and record-low levels of snowpack and precipitation.
The Pacific Institute

Pasadena Waterfall
Water Conservation

The City of Pasadena adopted a 28% water conservation goal.

The current situation:

  • From June 2014 to September 2015, Pasadena overall citywide water use has reduced by 24%
  • During the same time period, city-owned facilities have decreased water use by over 50%

Here to know more information about the City of Pasadena's initiatives and also to read key tips on water conservation:

Pasadena Waterfall
Light Installation

Designed and Developed at MEDIARS LLC, the interactive 47-foot installation "gateway" responds to people in an urban context and provides the experience of being under a waterfall.

The custom LED light modules trickle down from under the roof to above the heads of pedestrians. Creating a playful and relaxing experience, the installation is programmed to link pedestrians' movements to the animated sculpture on the building's fa├žade.

When passersby would walk near or stand under the artwork, the light animations' would be modulated to capture, interpret and reflect pedestrian data. More pedestrian near or under the artwork would generate a larger water flow.

Pasadena Waterfall
Light modules

The modules' are created through a combination of Fibonacci and Voronoi algorithms.

The Fibonacci series, used by scientists to describe nature: plants, flowers, water, human bones, the solar system and within the composition of works of art, helped the artist design the shape of the light modules.
This reference further connects the project with nature.

There are 185 custom light modules in translucent Polyethylene using 400 Philips iColor Flex LMX gen2 LED nodes individually controllable.

The Polyethylene modules are fabricated with a rotational molding industrial process at MODRoto in Southern California.

Pasadena Waterfall

The light controller handling 1200 DMX channels @60-40fps is created with TouchDesigner and Python. To optimize the workflow the artist developed a simulation system. That made possible to test and design the animations months before the building was completed.
Operators at the hotel can control the artwork through a user-friendly dashboard. UI elements are in html, php, and javascript.

Pasadena Waterfall

The frame structure follows a modular design that simplifies fabrication, installation and maintenance.
The frame is designed in 13 CNC plates of aluminum. The aluminum reflects the surrounding and embeds urban and natural elements into the piece.

After dusk, when the lights are visible, the aluminum surface reflects the lights creating a glow effects. The aluminum structure was fabricated, integrated and installed by Tractor Vision based in Downtown L.A.

Pasadena Waterfall

City of Pasadena Public Art Program
Rochelle Branch, Leslie Fischer

Artist: Alessandro Marianantoni
Public Art Advisor: Beatrix Barker

Design and Production: MEDIARS

Construction: R.D. Olson Development
VP Planning & Development, Anthony Wrzosek
Development Manager, Matthew Ewing
Superintendent, Jason Peet

Industrial Designer: Robo Design
Designers: Kollapsedbrain, Daniele Camillotto, Pingting Wei
Fabricators: Tractor Vision, MODRoto
Library of Congress Geography and Map Division