Archimedes is made of mirror-polished stainless steel, and is named after the ‘Archimedes Screw’ developed by the pre-eminent Greek mathematician and inventor, Archimedes (287-212 BC). The sculpture takes the form of a giant corkscrew (4.5metres in length) which emerges from the water whilst slowly turning to lift water to the top before disgorging it on to a stainless-steel cone which also seems to rise from the water, although it is in fact static.
The sculpture apparently floats on the water through a complex system of sixteen buoyancy tanks filled with air and water which keep afloat a submerged pontoon measuring 10 x 3 metres. Concrete anchor weights of 22 tons keep the entire structure stable.
Originally installed at West India Quay, London, it was removed and put into storage when this area of the Docks was redesigned to make way for increasing river craft.