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Water Feature Provides Aesthetic Finish for Massive Statue's Foundation
If you've ever driven on I-75 between Dayton and Cincinnati, Ohio, you've probably noticed a towering statue of Jesus, standing in the middle of a 2-acre lake. The original 62-foot (19-meter) tall "King of Kings" statue was built by the Solid Rock Church in 2003 but burned to the ground after it was struck by lightning in 2010 - making headlines around the world.
After more than a year of planning, the church began construction on a new statue of Jesus called "Lux Mundi" meaning Light of the World. "The inspiration of Jesus is larger than life," Sculptor Tom Tsuchiya said. "His message is larger than life, so how fitting it is to honor him with a sculpture that is larger than life."
The design called for a 52-foot (16-meter) tall statue, built using fire-resistant polymer composite and steel. This statue stands on a massive, engineered 30-foot (9-meter) wide by 30-foot (9-meter) long by 8-foot (2.4-meter) deep concrete footer that anchors the statue using steel embedments and anchor bolts.
"The designer's dilemma was - how are we going to cover this concrete cube up and make it look nice?" explained Dan Meyer of Meyer Aquascapes. "That's where we got involved."
Meyer specializes in designing and building decorative water features. To create an aesthetic finish for the statue's base, Meyer worked closely with the statue's designers as well as local Rosetta manufacturer Oberfields LLC and local Rosetta distributor Western Hills Builder's Supply.
"The sculptor didn't want something that looked like a bunch of small rocks; he wanted the look of larger stones. I showed him some pictures of real stone, and then I showed him some photos of Rosetta and he said, 'this is exactly what I envisioned.'"
The Outcropping Collection from Rosetta is a larger-scale wall solution that is cast in molds taken from world-class natural stone. With consistent dimensions that replicate the look and feel of nature, Rosetta is a great fit for projects that require the aesthetics of natural stone, but the durability and consistency of an architectural grade precast system.
To create the three waterfalls that encircle the base, the design called for a trough which water flows into, then flows out over the Rosetta Outcropping stones. To get a consistent flow, the design called for the waterfalls to start at the exact same elevation.
"For this application, Rosetta was the perfect product because we knew the heights of each stone, so we could design it exactly to the final elevation," explained Meyer. "If we had used natural ledge rock, we would never have been able to achieve the final goal of keeping it totally level from left to right so that the waterfalls could come out at three different points over a 90-foot (27-meter) long stretch. We wanted to give it a nice natural look, but it had to be engineered as well."
The installation of the Rosetta portion and the plumbing for the project was completed over the course of 10 days. The pond had been drained, and the two-person crew from Meyer Aquascapes set the blocks using a track hoe. "It was only the second time we'd ever worked with the Outcropping. Once you get familiar with the product and the pallets, it goes in really quick," Meyer said.
In addition to more than 300 square feet (28 square meters) of Outcropping components, the project also used Rosetta's Irregular Step Collection to create the top course of the water feature, giving it a finished look on top. The design also called for a small amount of the smaller-scale Rosetta Belvedere Collection above and behind the waterfalls. The Belvedere sections are barely visible, but help mask unsightly parts of the footing.
A few months after the waterfalls were complete, the statue itself arrived on site in five different pieces. The statue was then erected by crane and dedicated on September 30, 2012. "This has been a long time coming," said church administrator Ron Carter. "It's finally nice to be at this point."
"Using Rosetta really allowed us to achieve a natural look on an engineered project," Meyer said. "There was no other product that could have achieved the right scale. If we had tried to lay this up with natural stone, it would have taken at least twice as much time, and it would have been a whole lot harder to do. Where true elevations have to be achieved, this is a perfect product."
Project Name: "Lux Mundi" Construction Project Owner: Solid Rock Church, Monroe, Ohio Block Manufacturer: Oberfields LLC Local Distributor: Western Hills Builder's Supply Wall Installer: Meyer Aquascapes Sculptors: Glasshand LLC; Tom Tsuchiya, Designer and Sculptor and Steve Brauch, Sculptor & Fabricator Project Location: Monroe, Ohio Year: 2012 Case: 20 - Oberfields Touchdown Jesus
Provide us your zip or postal code below, and we'll provide you the contact info for your
Rosetta Hardscapes expert. Reach out as questions come up or when you're ready.