Supriya Ghosh

Crystal Fountains

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Native name  Crystal
Area served  Global
Founded  Canada
Founder  Roger L’Heureux
Headquarters  Toronto
Type of business  Incorporated company
Crystal Fountains imgarchiexpocomimagesaephotog688085218255jpg
Industry  Water feature design and product manufacturing
Key people  Paul and David L’Heureux
Website  www.crystalfountains.com

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Crystal Fountains Inc., known as Crystal, is a water feature design and product manufacturing firm based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Founded in 1967, Crystal has completed thousands of projects worldwide, spread over 6 continents in over 30 countries. The company is best known for its work on the iconic Crown Fountain in Millennium Park, Chicago, Illinois and the newly renovated water feature at Washington Harbour in Georgetown, just outside Washington D.C.

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History

Crystal was founded in 1967 by Roger L’Heureux, an engineer at a Toronto-based drain company, when he collaborated on fountains for the Expo 67 pavilions in Montreal with international sculptor Gerald Gladstone. Through the late 1960s and 1970s, L'Heureux continued to design and install water features throughout the Toronto area, often in conjunction with Gladstone. One of Crystal's best known projects of this era was the design and implementation of the principal water feature in Toronto’s Eaton Centre. Opened in 1977, and still operating today, the fountain shoots a column of water 21 meters (69 feet) into the air every 10 minutes before catching it in a comparatively small basin 6 meters in diameter.

In 1977, Crystal acquired Decorative Fountain Company (or DEFO), a producer of fountain components such as nozzles and drains. With its new manufacturing capabilities, Crystal continued to expand through the late 1970s and 1980s. During this time, Crystal specialized in fountains for malls and other indoor spaces, focusing on selling water feature components and design services to predominately Canadian customers.

L'Heureux retired in 1987 and passed the business down to his two sons, Paul and David L’Heureux, as Crystal continued to move away from fountain installation and focus more heavily on design services and product supply. This design focus also ushered in a decade of international expansion, as Crystal began exporting its products and undertaking projects in foreign markets in the early 1990s. One of Crystal’s earliest overseas projects was also one of its most ambitious: The Lake Symphony Fountain in Kuala Lumper contains over 380 sequenced jet effects stretched over a length of 80 metres (260 feet). Some of these effects reach a height of more than 42 metres (138 feet)

The Lake Symphony Fountain was also the first Crystal project to feature its patented Choreoswitch, a device that allows for fast, smooth, and variable height sequencing effects up to 10 times per second. A solenoid in the device produces these effects by rapidly moving water from one side to the other. The Choreoswitch is now used worldwide in everything from large show features to simple play decks.

In the 2000s, Crystal continued to expand internationally by opening a Dubai office in 2007, and completing notable projects such as Crown Fountain, the main water feature at Al Kout Mall in Fahaheel, Kuwait, and the lotus-inspired fountain in Moscow’s White Square, Crystal’s first foray into Russia.

As of 2011, Crystal Fountains Inc. officially rebranded itself as Crystal to better reflect the comprehensive nature of its water feature work. The company continues to operate as a fountain product manufacturer and supplier while designing a number of significant projects each year. Projects from this period include the World Voices fountain in the residential lobby of the world's tallest building, Burj Khalifa and the Aquatheatre aboard Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas cruise ship. For the World Voices feature, Crystal collaborated with international artist Jaume Plensa (who had previously worked with Crystal on Crown Fountain ) to create a water feature that doubled as a work of art. The Aquatheatre, meanwhile, had to be incorporated into all the other systems aboard the Oasis Of the Seas, resulting in the first-ever theatrical water feature installed on a cruise ship.

Crystal's most recent project was the central water feature for the redevelopment of Washington Harbour in Georgetown. While the historical tower in the middle of the plaza remains in its original form, the rest of the fountain has been renovated with new lights, nozzles, and show capabilities. The water feature also converts into a 12,000 sq ft. ice rink in the winter months, making the Harbour a popular destination year round.

Noteworthy projects

Crystal has been a part of the following significant projects in a design or product supply capacity:

  • Crown Fountain, Chicago, Illinois
  • Washington Harbour Fountain, Georgetown, Washington D.C.
  • Grand Park Fountain, Los Angeles, California
  • Sugar Beach Fountain, Toronto, Ontario
  • White Square Fountain, Moscow, Russia
  • World Voices Fountain, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Woodlands Waterway Square, The Woodlands, Texas
  • Royal Palace of Venaria Fountain, Turin, Italy
  • Zlote Tarasy Fountain, Warsaw, Poland
  • Yas Island Welcome Pavilion Fountain, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.
  • Oasis Of The Seas Aquatheatre, Royal Caribbean International
  • Canada's Wonderland Royal Fountain, Toronto, Ontario
  • Washington Park Fountain, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Place des Spectacles Water Feature, Montreal, Quebec
  • Dragon Water Feature at Taipei 101, Taipei, Taiwan
  • References

    Crystal Fountains Wikipedia


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