A unique water spectacle 

Suzhou International Expo Centre 

Project highlights


1724 rice wine jars were made into a unique water spectacle


1840 custom-made nozzles with an integrated fog system created the right atmosphere


A 740 metre LED light strip added an impressive ambience

The mission

A unique staging of cultural heritage

Suzhou, often referred to as the Venice of the East, is located 90 km west of Shanghai. The city of 11 million inhabitants is not just famous for its many canals and bridges – it's also where one of China's most famous rice wine brands, Shazhou Youhuang, produces their rice wine. So the demands were very high when OASE was commissioned to create a fountain system in one of the company's outdoor spaces – at the Shazhou Rice Wine Exhibition Centre – that displayed the famous drink in an eye-catching and aesthetically outstanding way.  

A fountain system that brings together different architecture

It's clear that the Chinese celebrate what's important to them with dedication – and in southern China in particular, rice wine, with its millennia-long history, is one of their essential cultural assets. In Suzhou, the well-known Shazhou Youhuang company wanted to erect a monument to the unique traditional drink: The intention was that the unique fountain system in one of the exhibition centre's outdoor spaces should connect the various buildings of the architectural ensemble in a visually harmonious way. The client's wish was for the subject of rice wine to be visible at first glance, offering a very special experience. It was also important to take key aspects of Chinese culture into account, such as the integration of lucky aspects into the fountain system.

The installation

Water, not wine 

Traditionally, Chinese rice wine was stored in large jars – these provided us with the artistic starting point for this very special fountain system. 1724 carefully hand-picked original earthenware jars were mounted on two nine-storey frames, imitating the shape of two truncated pyramids. Instead of rice wine, water flows from each of these jars, a feat ensured by custom-made water feature nozzles from OASE. The OASE team worked hard to optimise the water outlet to ensure that the water flowed out of each jar evenly. The client was enthusiastic about this solution and so all the jars were equipped with it. An additional fog system generates vapour that silently floats over the pyramids – especially impressive after sunset, when the LEDs shine around the openings of the jugs.

Cultural requirements incorporated

In addition to pragmatic and aesthetic aspects, other aspects are important for construction projects in China that barely play a role in the West: attributes that are considered to bring luck. Together with the clients, OASE developed a concept to integrate these attributes into the fountain system. For example, the nine-storey structure of the pyramids owes its existence to the fact that the Chinese word for "wine" is pronounced in exactly the same way as the word for "nine" – this harmony should bring luck to the water feature and its spectators.

The successes

Great collaboration, iconic result 

The overall impression is very pure and aesthetic. The static pyramid architecture forms a dramatic contrast to the illuminated dynamism of the gently flowing water and the fog clouds. The sheer size of the feature creates an overall impression that is monumental and dazzling, in spite of the deliberately simple appearance. Since being installed, the water feature has become one of the exhibition centre's main attractions for visitors. The clients have praised OASE for their excellent collaboration, saying that the water display has become an iconic part of their company culture. So then: Gānbēi – Cheers!  

Project fact sheet

Project nameShazhou Youhuang Rice Wine Exhibition Centre
Year of completion2021 
Type of waterFresh water
LocationPublic space
Fountain typeFountain system design
Fountain effectsFog effects
Animation/fountain show Manufacturing 

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