William Pye Water Scupture

Acton House

The distance from the main house and views from the upper level suggested to me a vertical sculpture for this courtyard. My proposed solution was a descendant of my 1964 sculpture 'Charioteer' inspired by my first visit to Greece when I saw the Charioteer at Delphi, the vertical folds of the chiton that hangs around the body suggesting a fluted column, in contrast to the more dynamic form expressed in the upper body.

The chosen material was mirror-polished stainless steel in order to catch the light, the reflections and moving water animating the whole. At 2.5 metres high, it provides a clearly visible feature when seen from various positions within the house. A spout on each of the four corners delivers a smooth rope of water, and deflectors below each spout transform the smooth flow into a dancing spray.

  • Acton House
  • Acton House
  • Acton House

Concept development

  • The original site
  • The site viewed from the main house on a snowy day
  • Concept inspired by the Charioteer at Delphi
  • Concept derived from my earlier work Charioteer
  • The water sculpture will use the rollwave effect
  • Original sketch for the chosen design
  • Original sketch
  • Original sketch for various ideas


  • Maquette
  • Maquette


  • The mirror polished stainless steel ready for a water test
  • The water circulation system
  • Water testing in the workshop
  • The complete piece ready for delivery
  • The water reservoir to go below ground
  • Detail of the stainless steel tank