Calatrava's Wave Reflecting Pool at SMU

Delta Fountains was called to design and manufacture the reflecting pool application and lighting under SMU's Calatrava's Wave sculpture.

Reflection Pool Underwater Lighting

The underwater lighting for Delta Fountains' reflecting pool creates a ethereal effect that illuminates the underside of the Wave sculpture.

SMU Calatrava’s Wave Reflecting Pool

Dallas, TX


  • Date2002
  • ClientSouthern Methodist University
  • Categories
  • DesignSantiago Calatrava, Good Fulton & Farrell

Delta Fountains provided mechanical, electrical and chemical design for the shallow reflecting pool that holds the SMU Calatrava’s Wave, a kinetic sculpture designed by Santiago Calatrava. The Wave uses 129 bronze bars that move in a perpetual rising-and-falling motion to simulate a four-cycle wave in the space above the reflecting pool.

Reflecting Pool Challenges

To achieve a mirror image of the Wave sculpture in the negative-edge pool, the complex project required team coordination between the university, sculptors, staff, engineers, and others.

The Solution

Construction costs for the fountain equipment and sculpture were $1.7 million. The negative-edge reflecting pool, which is only about four inches deep, includes 20 display discharge points and performs at a minimum pumping rate of 3200 GPM at 30 feet TDH. The Wave reflecting pool water flows over an almost invisible edge to a trough beneath the granite tiles.

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