Barry Wilde Bridge Parramatta

When the Parramatta City Council decided to investigate a new fountain effect on the Parramatta River, HME took the opportunity to cement its growing relationship with the US based The Fountain People – the creative engineers behind some of the most impressive water fountain displays in the US. While this is not on the scale of a Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, or the Disney World Of Colour in Los Angeles, the new display in the heart of Parramatta is a new concept in outdoor displays.

The delivery of this elegant effect required a level of complexity and a number of highly skilled suppliers to execute the works. Ausflow took on the responsibility of getting the water from the river, filtering, treating and pressurising it ready for delivery to the nozzles. HME then took that water at the pump shed, and created the rest of the effect - installing the water delivery system, the control systems, and then engaging and working directly with one of Australia’s top lighting designers Martin Kinnane. The end result of these labours is a light show that occurs each half hour, each evening from dusk through to 9pm.
The fountain runs during the day as a simple water effect for the enjoyment of the lunchtime business people that use the area as time out from the work place. However, it is after sunset that the real show begins. Once the sun goes down, the LED lights begin to operate, and at each half hour one of four different lighting shows will run for ten minutes. The sequence of lights and pressure control is quite unique to Australian audiences, with each of the four shows carefully prepared and programmed.

The Lighting Designer Martin Kinnane said, “Working on the Barry Wilde Bridge Fountain was a fantastic experience. The ability to take all my knowledge from lighting theatre and events and apply them to such an exciting kinetic display. I have created four shows each individual in content and style. One celebrates Australian music, another to some strong international acts, the third has a movie theme and the fourth a tribute to our local and national sporting stars. I have always been fascinated by light and water, not something that always mixes happily and to design not only thinking of the lighting in the jets of water but also reflected in Parramatta river was exciting.”