The fountain recalls previous artworks by Plensa, such as
Milk, Water, Earth from 1999, a roughly 7' cube of
glass and stainless steel that's illuminated by neon lights.
But where this piece used minimal structure to give the faux,
glass brick walls lightness and transparency, Crown Fountain
would require a special frame to take the gravity load of
the 50' tall walls, while also helping to stabilize each tower
laterally from wind forces. A custom stainless steel "T-frame"
was developed to hold the glass blocks and transfer the vertical
load in a zigzag pattern down to its base. As well, 1/2"
diameter rods anchored to the steel structure projected out
to this frame for lateral stability, supplemented by triangular
corner brackets. Each glass block was custom made by hand
at a glass factory outside Pittsburgh. These were fitted into
small sections of the frame, shipped to the site on trucks,
into place, approximately seven sections per face. Mark
Sexton pointed out that the glass manufacturer was able to
make almost perfectly white glass, not the typically green
glass that results from the iron content of glass. This clarity
helps to display a truer image, but it also runs the risk
of showing dirt more easily over time.