William Pye Water Scupture


The sculpture runs along the pathway from the road to the entrance of Maggie's Cancer Centre, Cheltenham. I have designed something that represents my own interpretation of a water course, as distinct from a conventional rill.

The concept has been developed in close collaboration with architect Richard MacCormac and landscape designer Christine Facer. The geometry of the sculpture has been devised to harmonise with the topography of the garden, providing an interplay with the grassed areas. At one point the form divides, branching off into a sigmoid curve. The serpentine, mirror polished forms reflect the imagery of grass, sky and surrounding trees.

Those approaching the Centre will first encounter the source of the water course, rippling over a series of terraces and then follow it as water is mysteriously funnelled into the pipe element of the piece, reappearing at the far end onto a circular table of overflowing water.

In order to realise this piece, artifice has been used to intrigue those who are puzzled by how it works. It will not be immediately clear how it can work, since the water travelling up and down from one end of the site to the other appears to defy gravity.

Material: mirror polished stainless steel.

Total length: around 27 metres.

For more information or to commission a similar piece, please send a request through the contact page on this website.

  • Arroyo at the entrance of the path
  • Arroyo at the entrance of the path
  • At the source the water comes up from the ground into the open
  • The water returns to the ground at the end
  • Water emerges at the end and spills over in rods of water
  • The sculpture follows the pathway
  • Arroyo completed

Concept development

  • The site for a water sculpture
  • The garden in construction


  • 3D view of the general idea
  • 3D view of the general idea
  • First idea for the start of the pathway
  • Design for the end of the path near the building


  • Stainless steel tubes ready for assembly
  • The source feature in manufacture
  • Assembly at the Benson-Sedgwick Engineering workshop
  • Assembly at the Benson-Sedgwick Engineering workshop

Completion and launch

  • Delivery of the components on site
  • Completion on site
  • Construction on site
  • General view from the entrance
  • Completion on site
  • Completion of the work on site
  • Completion of work on site