Gateway Pool, Water Wall and Star Map
Project Area: CBD-Civic Center
Project: Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
Project Location: 555 W. Temple Street
Project Type: Developer Initiated
Upon entering the Cathedral from Temple Street though the Shepherd's Gate, one encounters a small sunken plaza with a fountain and wall of water. Designed collaboratively with architect Robert Kramer, Lita Albuquerque's "Gateway Pool" and "Water Wall" were based primarily on Biblical text that was stated by Jesus to a Samaritan woman in his request for some water. Reflecting on that particular Biblical Scripture, the fountain disk is inscribed with the words, "I shall give you living water," translated into the known 37 languages spoken by the cathedral's parishioners. The multi-lingual text is also inscribed in concentric rings, because in a post-September 11th world Albuquerque wanted the fountain to, "emphasize the concept of unity of all the languages within the larger context of the circularity of the star field map on the ground." As water flows from a source in the center of the large disk, it creates ripples that alternately obscure and reveal the texts inscribed on the disk's flat surface. The large circular disk comprising the fountain is made of Imperial Bambi White Marble.
Located on the plaza hardscape surrounding the fountain is Albuquerque's "Star Map." Originally intended to be reflective of Albuquerque's own interpretation of constellations, the project was later revised to adhere to Catholic tradition, which stipulates that the constellations should reflect the actual star patterns in the sky the night before the Cathedral was to be dedicated.
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