William Pye Water Scupture

Scaladaqua Tonda

Scaladaqua Tonda, a Millennium project, was made for the Broad Walk of the National Botanic Gardens of Wales. The Italian title suggests circular steps of water: scala – steps, aqua – water, tonda – round.

Water is pumped to the top level from where it descends by gravity through specially sculpted spouts; these have been developed to achieve the purest flow, the clarity of the water providing a perfect conduit through which to pass light unimpeded. Submersible lamps behind each spout direct light through the smooth columns of falling water, the effect being the same as that produced by fibre optic lighting.

This commission was given to me at very short notice, and I had to complete the sculpture within two months. The piece is sited mid-way on a long sloping path, to break its length. The off-centre steps that describe portions of the circle encourage walkers to deviate from an otherwise direct route, giving them different aspects of the lake beyond and the Foster and Partners’ Glass House on the distant hill.

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