WaterShapes

The web site for all professionals and consumers who've made or want to make water a part of their lives

Fitting Pieces

Since 1971, Haddonstone Ltd. has provided fountains, garden accents and architectural components to designers around the world.  Using a cast-stone process that results in artful replicas of classic profiles as well as various contemporary and custom objects, the company’s aim has always been to give watershapers, landscape artists and architects ready access to a selection of exterior decorations suited to a range of projects and styles.
Since 1971, Haddonstone Ltd. has provided fountains, garden accents and architectural components to designers around the world. Using a cast-stone process that results in artful replicas of classic profiles as well as various contemporary and custom objects, the company’s aim has always been to give watershapers, landscape artists and architects ready access to a selection of exterior decorations suited to a range of projects and styles.
By Adrian R. Coles

Natural stone is one of the planet’s most enduring artistic media and has been used in all historical eras across all design traditions in richly varied ways.  From the pyramids of Egypt to the Great Wall of China, from the friezes of the Parthenon to the masterpieces of Michelangelo, it has always been the material of choice for work that matters.

For all its beauty and durability, however, natural stone has its limitations:  Even in modern times with modern technology, it must be quarried or harvested; fabrication of finished pieces is laborious; and its weight makes moving it from place to place both costly and time-consuming.  It’s also not a renewable material:  Supplies of many of the world’s most favored types are restricted, and some are simply no longer available.

It’s in this context that cast stone has emerged as a viable alternative in reproducing the looks, textures and sheer physical presence of natural stone materials.  We at Haddonstone Ltd., for example, offer cast-stone products that can be used in architectural, landscape and watershape settings in ways that are virtually indistinguishable from pieces made of marble or limestone – and do so at a fraction of the cost with a consistency and precision that are difficult to achieve with natural materials.

We started modestly in 1971 with a facility near Northampton, England, that turned out just seven ornamental pieces in cast stone.  In the ensuing years, that list has grown to include more than

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Forms and Figures

Water and works of art have been near-constant companions for millennia, but that traditional pairing seems to be generating new enthusiasm, says watershape designer/builder Randy Beard, with more and more property owners seeking to make unique statements by putting artworks on display in and around water.  He takes a look at this emerging trend here, using a number of his recent projects in southern California to illustrate the point.
Water and works of art have been near-constant companions for millennia, but that traditional pairing seems to be generating new enthusiasm, says watershape designer/builder Randy Beard, with more and more property owners seeking to make unique statements by putting artworks on display in and around water. He takes a look at this emerging trend here, using a number of his recent projects in southern California to illustrate the point.
By Randy Beard

As watershape design expands beyond the mostly recreational traditions of the recent past, more of us are being asked these days to design water elements that work more decoratively and serve to frame, reflect and otherwiseaccentuate or accompany art pieces.  

In these situations, a pool, fountain or basin design is visually driven by the artwork, and whether the project is done for a private residence or a commercial complex, the results can be wonderfully dynamic.  In most cases, requests for this design approach come from an owner who has a particular piece in mind; in a few other cases, the artist will commission a watershape to accompany a main attraction of his or her devising and becomes a key participant in the design process.  

All in all, I see this as another manifestation of a trend in which

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The Faces of Chicago: Larry O'Hearn's Platinum Standard Project

b_400_400_16777215_00_images_archart_200806Platinum_200806OHearn_1.jpgIn December 2004, WaterShapes introduced ‘The Platinum Standard,’ a registry of projects that embodies watershaping at its finest.  Now, as part of our celebration of the magazine’s 100th Issue, Eric Herman offers ‘The Platinum Standard II,’ a fresh set of 20 projects that have graced the pages of the magazine in the past three-and-a-half years – projects that demonstrate clearly that watershaping has become an art form in its own right.

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Larry O’Hearn
Crystal Fountains
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

 

 

 

 

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Conceptualized by Portuguese artist Jaume Plensa and executed by Crystal Fountains, the Crown Fountain in Chicago’s Millennium Park is among the most unique watershapes ever created. 

A fittingly monumental addition to a city filled with monuments, the fountain features two glass towers (faced off across an interactive waterplay area) that, among other things, show videos of Chicago citizens whose projected mouths become waterspouts that shoot water onto the plaza below

Architectural Grace: Roberto Burle Marx's Platinum Standard Project

b_400_400_16777215_00_images_archart_200806Platinum_200806BurleMarx_1.jpgIn December 2004, WaterShapes introduced ‘The Platinum Standard,’ a registry of projects that embodies watershaping at its finest.  Now, as part of our celebration of the magazine’s 100th Issue, Eric Herman offers ‘The Platinum Standard II,’ a fresh set of 20 projects that have graced the pages of the magazine in the past three-and-a-half years – projects that demonstrate clearly that watershaping has become an art form in its own right.

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Roberto Burle Marx
Presented by Raymond Jungles
Jungles Landscape Architect
Miami, Fla.

Roberto Burle Marx was certainly one of the world’s greatest landscape artists – a master whose work invariably reflected the visual energy of his native Brazil and who has inspired generations of designers who’ve followed in his brilliant footsteps.  He worked with water, plants and architecture with extraordinary sensitivity of a sort that can readily be seen in this structure, where a simple composition in dark stone becomes a study in cascading water, brimming pools and transcendent beauty.

A Cityscape Reborn: Claire Kahn Tuttle's Platinum Standard Project

b_400_400_16777215_00_images_archart_200806Platinum_200806KahnTuttle_1.jpgIn December 2004, WaterShapes introduced ‘The Platinum Standard,’ a registry of projects that embodies watershaping at its finest.  Now, as part of our celebration of the magazine’s 100th Issue, Eric Herman offers ‘The Platinum Standard II,’ a fresh set of 20 projects that have graced the pages of the magazine in the past three-and-a-half years – projects that demonstrate clearly that watershaping has become an art form in its own right.

b_400_400_16777215_00_images_archart_200806Platinum_200806KahnTuttle_2.jpgClaire Kahn Tuttle
WET Design
Sun Valley, Calif.

Called upon to revitalize a historic intersection just outside New York’s Central Park, the visionaries at WET Design created interactive fountains that turned Columbus Circle into a public destination with the highest possible profile. 

b_400_400_16777215_00_images_archart_200806Platinum_200806KahnTuttle_3.jpgTerraced, circular decks and programmable dancing waters now offer a grand invitation to pedestrians to come close and cool off or simply enjoy the space and the surrounding city views – a great gathering place in the heart of one of the world’s greatest cities.

Local Pride

When a St. Louis-area developer wanted water to be a prominent part of a new project in nearby St. Charles, Mo., says Anne Gunn, it made sense for him to contact Hydro Dramatics, a local firm that has created an impressive list of fountains and other waterfeatures throughout the region.  In this case, the need was for a set of floating fountains to set the tone for his development while linking it to history – and a pair of famous rivers.
When a St. Louis-area developer wanted water to be a prominent part of a new project in nearby St. Charles, Mo., says Anne Gunn, it made sense for him to contact Hydro Dramatics, a local firm that has created an impressive list of fountains and other waterfeatures throughout the region. In this case, the need was for a set of floating fountains to set the tone for his development while linking it to history – and a pair of famous rivers.
By Anne Gunn

Sometimes finding just what you need is as easy as looking in your own backyard.

That’s what happened for Greg Whittaker of Whittaker Homes, one of Missouri’s largest home builders, when he began searching for the right partner to provide dramatic watershapes for New Town, an innovative community in St. Charles, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis.

Situated on the site of what had been a farming community, New Town is intended to invoke and embody a comfortable lifestyle for the 21st Century.  Parklands filled with water were the key to Whittaker’s vision not just for aesthetic and thematic reasons, but also for stormwater management.  

While visiting St. Louis’ Forest Park, a venerable civic treasure, Whittaker saw the

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Healthful Waters

When fountain designer/engineer Aviram Müller considers a future he believes will be dominated by environmental consciousness, he’s elated to contemplate the role watershapers will play in efficiently using water and energy in architectural and landscape settings.  It’s a delight he shares here by outlining a new reality in which watershapes are seamlessly integrated into built environments where conservation is a driving, necessary priority.
When fountain designer/engineer Aviram Müller considers a future he believes will be dominated by environmental consciousness, he’s elated to contemplate the role watershapers will play in efficiently using water and energy in architectural and landscape settings. It’s a delight he shares here by outlining a new reality in which watershapes are seamlessly integrated into built environments where conservation is a driving, necessary priority.
By Aviram Müller

In recent centuries, watershapers have done a tremendous job of figuring out how water behaves in visual and aural terms and learned how to use those characteristics to make strong aesthetic impressions.  

Now that we’re entering an era in which environmental concerns are of increasing importance, however, we’re being challenged to think differently about water, how it affects us physically and the essential role it plays in maintaining a healthy world.

That challenge is not insubstantial:  As a species, we’ve done a great deal to squander water as an asset, whether by contaminating and otherwise polluting natural bodies of water or by treating pools and other watershapes with harsh chemicals.  Isn’t it ironic that spas, which exist primarily so we can

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The Artful Dance

Advances in fountain technology have defined a new class of animated watershapes that is not only more sophisticated but is also becoming more readily available.  Here, Simon Gardiner of Crystal Fountains shares a pair of projects to illustrate how just two of these technologies – that is, submersible LED lighting and systems that make water dance – are helping his company and others bring fresh excitement to watershapes worldwide.
Advances in fountain technology have defined a new class of animated watershapes that is not only more sophisticated but is also becoming more readily available. Here, Simon Gardiner of Crystal Fountains shares a pair of projects to illustrate how just two of these technologies – that is, submersible LED lighting and systems that make water dance – are helping his company and others bring fresh excitement to watershapes worldwide.
By Simon Gardiner

Advances in fountain technology have defined a new class of animated watershapes that is not only more sophisticated but is also becoming more readily available.  Here, Simon Gardiner of Crystal Fountains shares a pair of projects to illustrate how just two of these technologies – that is, submersible LED lighting and systems that make water dance – are helping his company and others bring fresh excitement to watershapes worldwide.

The international fountain business is an exciting, highly competitive and ever-challenging field, basically because the clients are as distinctive as the projects they commission, the settings they provide and the countries they represent.  At Crystal Fountains (Toronto), we’ve staked our reputation in the global marketplace on understanding those distinctions and built our competitive edge on keeping up with technological developments that help us animate spaces with water.

The reason this constant forward progress in technology is so critical is that there’s a persistent, ongoing

Read more: The Artful Dance

Recent comments

  • Guest - Jay

    Some of the stuff you do with your outdoor LED lights blows my mind, have worked in the LED industry for over a decade now, constantly looking to improve, love the stuff you do here!
View other comments

Moving in Miniature

200903BVBBy Brian Van Bower

One of the clearest trends I’ve seen in watershaping through the past few years involves the use of water in the front spaces of properties, usually along a driveway or close to the main entrance.  It’s something I’ve noticed on both the residential and commercial sides of the business, and these projects really do seem to be gaining traction as more time passes.  

In some cases, they might be the only watershape you’ll find on site.  In others, they introduce a presence of water to be echoed

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Level Fun

Oregon watershaper Giorgos Eptaimeros has developed a reputation for providing his clients with the full range of exciting aquatic experiences.  Always on the lookout for new options to offer and, more specifically, for ways to bring popular commercial- and waterpark-type features to his residential projects, he recently turned to a leaping-jet/splash-pad kit to bring a dynamic backyard play feature to a distinctly mid-range project.
Oregon watershaper Giorgos Eptaimeros has developed a reputation for providing his clients with the full range of exciting aquatic experiences. Always on the lookout for new options to offer and, more specifically, for ways to bring popular commercial- and waterpark-type features to his residential projects, he recently turned to a leaping-jet/splash-pad kit to bring a dynamic backyard play feature to a distinctly mid-range project.
By Giorgos Eptaimeros

Oregon watershaper Giorgos Eptaimeros has developed a reputation for providing his clients with the full range of exciting aquatic experiences.  Always on the lookout for new options to offer and, more specifically, for ways to bring popular commercial- and waterpark-type features to his residential projects, he recently turned to a leaping-jet/splash-pad kit to bring a dynamic backyard play feature to a distinctly mid-range project.   

When I emigrated from Greece to the United States nearly 20 years ago, I already had more than a decade of commercial project management experience under my belt.  As is the case with

Read more: Level Fun

The Heart of the City

The plaza island at Columbus Circle in New York is an example of urban and civic design at its best.  Encircling the heart of this grand space is a subtle fountain system that has turned a busy traffic hub into a welcome gathering place for the city’s residents and visitors.  Here, principal designer Claire Kahn Tuttle of WET Design in Sun Valley, Calif., describes the project and the philosophy the company brought to bear in bringing it to fruition.
The plaza island at Columbus Circle in New York is an example of urban and civic design at its best. Encircling the heart of this grand space is a subtle fountain system that has turned a busy traffic hub into a welcome gathering place for the city’s residents and visitors. Here, principal designer Claire Kahn Tuttle of WET Design in Sun Valley, Calif., describes the project and the philosophy the company brought to bear in bringing it to fruition.
By Claire Kahn Tuttle

The plaza island at Columbus Circle in New York is an example of urban and civic design at its best.  Encircling the heart of this grand space is a subtle fountain system that has turned a busy traffic hub into a welcome gathering place for the city’s residents and visitors.  Here, principal designer Claire Kahn Tuttle of WET Design in Sun Valley, Calif., describes the project and the philosophy the company brought to bear in bringing it to fruition.   

Tradition has it that, in measuring the distance a place is from New York, the geographical tape measure is placed at the center of Columbus Circle.  This makes it easy to see this southwest corner of Manhattan’s Central Park (and the intersection of Broadway, 59th Street and Eighth Avenue) as the true heart of the city.

A massive 70-foot obelisk topped by Gaetano Russo’s statue of Christopher Columbus has stood at the center of the bustling traffic circle since 1892, when it was installed to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the explorer’s arrival in the Americas.  The circle itself was part of Frederick Law Olmsted’s

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Poetry in Stone

With his rugged works of shaped water and stone, Colorado-based sculptor Richard Hansen has spent a career exploring what he calls ‘poetic dialogues’ between nature and humanity, permanence and ephemera, distance and intimacy.  But his interest in the materials he uses goes well beyond such philosophical notions:  He’s a hands-on artisan who particularly enjoys, he says, the unique sound that stone makes when it splits.
With his rugged works of shaped water and stone, Colorado-based sculptor Richard Hansen has spent a career exploring what he calls ‘poetic dialogues’ between nature and humanity, permanence and ephemera, distance and intimacy. But his interest in the materials he uses goes well beyond such philosophical notions: He’s a hands-on artisan who particularly enjoys, he says, the unique sound that stone makes when it splits.
By Richard Hansen

The avant-garde composer John Cage once said, “Art exists to make us aware of the very life we’re living.”  I’ve always loved that statement because, as someone working to create works of art, the experiences of my own life have naturally been transferred into the way I’ve chosen to express myself – and, I hope, have enabled me to succeed in bringing other people to an awareness of experiences in their own lives.  

For me, water is the key in these transferences:  Even though I’m probably more often described as a sculptor of natural stone rather than as a watershaper, the dialogues I have with the materials I use and with those who observe the outcomes have always begun with the way I work with water.

I grew up in the Midwest on the banks of the Mississippi.  As a child, I lingered on the untamed shores of the creeks, streams and rivers that laced across an otherwise developed and thoroughly mechanized landscape. 

I would read or draw, stroll idly along a stream, or spend hours building a raft or dam.  This was well before I’d begun to think about my relationship with water in any sort of artistic way, but there’s no question that those experiences remain at the heart of my passion for working within this

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Timeless Impressions

Most people know Maya Lin for her bold design of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, but watershapers in particular should become familiar with a range of her other works as well.  For nearly 15 years, reports William Hobbs, his company has been involved in producing intricate water effects for the famous artist, whose works draw fascinating connections between observers and the mysteries of time and nature.
Most people know Maya Lin for her bold design of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, but watershapers in particular should become familiar with a range of her other works as well. For nearly 15 years, reports William Hobbs, his company has been involved in producing intricate water effects for the famous artist, whose works draw fascinating connections between observers and the mysteries of time and nature.
By William Hobbs & Wayne Pierce

Most people know Maya Lin for her bold design of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, but watershapers in particular should become familiar with a range of her other works as well.  For nearly 15 years, reports William Hobbs, his company has been involved in producing intricate water effects for the famous artist, whose works draw fascinating connections between observers and the mysteries of time and nature.

The marriage of water and art can be extremely powerful and evocative, especially in the hands of a great designer.  One who has taken the use of water to sublime and fantastic levels is Maya Lin, the artist who rose to prominence as a

Read more: Timeless Impressions

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