Harry E. Kinney Civic Plaza, built-in 1974, hosts multiple outdoor events in the heart of Albuquerque, New Mexico. It possesses the name of two-time Albuquerque Mayor, Harry Kinney, who is known for having laid the foundation for some of the city’s most admired assets.
With a capacity of 20,000 people and a generous performance stage, Harry E. Kinney Civic Plaza is one of the largest public spots in downtown Albuquerque. Due to its centralized and unique location, the plaza became a trademark of Albuquerque, especially for the downtowners.
In 2014, the management of the plaza was handed to the Albuquerque Convention Center which transformed it into a more engaging venue accompanied with movable seating and shade structures. These changes also featured the renovation fountain with a new multi-functional interactive splash pad.
This new water feature was designed with the vision of creating a flexible and multi-functional gathering space. Keeping the original fountain basin and installing new seating options allowed the venue to hold outdoor events when the fountain is not functioning. To overcome one of the main challenges of the project which was bringing the design team’s creative vision on the interactive water feature to life, Crystal worked closely with Aqua Design International and other talented teams.
“Crystal Fountains was amazing, responsive, intelligent and thoughtful throughout the design process,” explained David Acklin, the water feature consultant of the project. “Having Crystal Fountains on the team through the design process allowed us to design this centerpiece for the City of Albuquerque that was both in-line with the aesthetic vision for the project, but is also highly functional and highly reliable. Marrying the aesthetics to functionality is extremely difficult and requires talented partners like Crystal Fountains,” Acklin added.
It was equally important to make the water feature an attraction not only during the day but also at night. Crystal provided custom architectural linear lights positioned at the surface of the acrylic cube to make an exciting attraction for visitors to walk past. The main challenge was to determine the optimum number and position of the architectural linear lights illuminate the artistic cubes. With a simple mock-up design using our real-time testing conditions, we had a great opportunity to overcome this challenge where the team could visualize what the feature would look like before actual construction. Additionally, multiple choreographed and pre-programmed illuminated sequencing jets were thoughtfully chosen in transforming the area into an interactive gathering spot.
Our designers developed various dynamic and static shows by utilizing the iconic burst jets on top of the light cubes to create an extra ‘wow’ factor. These shows play various times over the weekends, especially during peak times to attract the crowd. Additionally, Crystal’s LED lighting was specifically designed to pay homage to the history of Route 66 and elevate the visual experience of the interactive play deck. Acklin expressed, “the product quality of everything Crystal Fountains manufactures is the highest of any we’ve seen and used in the marketplace. Left entirely to us, we would never use anyone other than Crystal Fountains.”