The Salton sundials

This sundial has been prepared for the 90th anniversary of "Vinhos Salton SA" a wine company located in Salton, Brazil (latitude 29° 5' South, longitude 51° 33' West). The sundial lays on the pediment of the main building (see the image above representing the project sketch).

Salton vineyard

The mottoe "AD MM - PAX" which reads in latin: Anno Domini (year of the Lord) MM (for 2000), PAX (peace). Below the date, a border made of branches of almond tree, with a hummingbird sipping nectar, symbolizes the harmony of nature and the love between creatures.

The sundial occupies the central part of the pediment. It is made of Italian marbles, granites from various origins, special enamels, semi-precious stones and a special type of mosaic gold (a 24-carat slice of gold enclosed in two glass layers); this mosaic contains more than 24 kg of this material!

The sundial shows the Solar time. Hour lines are given every quarters. Declinations lines are drawn for the solstices, the equinox and each Zodiac change dates. A special line drawn for the 25th of August recalls the inauguration date of "Vinhos Salton SA". Around the noon line, the 8-shape curve of the equation of time gives the time difference between Solar time and Civil time. This difference must be added by the longitude difference 26 min 11 s.

The lateral parts are made of Italian marbles, granites and semi-precious stones, represent leaves, branches, grapes (its a wine company) and animals usually found in vines fields during grapes harvesting: birds (symbolizing music), dragonflies and butterflies - especially a blue butterfly (symbolizing poetry)- and bees (symbolizing work).

The mosaic is made in a mix style between Roma and Venice styles, and is made of mode than half a million of tessels! It has been realized by Cinthia Moran Andrea, Fabiano Petozzi and Leonardo Posenato, plus height assistants. The sundial has been calculated thanks to the Shadows program of François Blateyron, who has accompanied the project. The sundial has been designed by the architects Adriana Florin and Júlio Posenato, also authors of the architectonic complex of Salton.

The sundial was inaugurated on the 25th of August, 2000 in the presence of the Mayor and press. Unfortunately the rain has invited itself but the ceremony was nevertheless beautiful. Next to the building is an antique chapel (Notre-Dame des Douleurs) where the ceremony was organized, and a choral sung the Haendel's alleluia.

Click to enlarge

In 2001, another sundial was installed on the same building, on the Eastern facade. It measures 2,80 x 1,60 m and is made in black granite.
The mottoe is in "Talian", an old dialect coming from italian immigrant who came in Brazil. It is probably the first time in the world that a mottoe is using that language!
The picture shows the sundial while it is not completely finished, the hours lines should be highlighted with colors.

Text by Júlio Posenato