WaterShapes

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

A Window into Nature

Microsoft’s corporate campus near Seattle has been the birthplace of much of the world’s most significant consumer-electronics technology.  When it came time to adorn the ultramodern facility with a watershape of it own, the scope and complexity of the system was intended to reflect the scale and grandeur of the world’s most famous software company – and to fit a circumscribed space as though it had been there from time immemorial.
Microsoft’s corporate campus near Seattle has been the birthplace of much of the world’s most significant consumer-electronics technology. When it came time to adorn the ultramodern facility with a watershape of it own, the scope and complexity of the system was intended to reflect the scale and grandeur of the world’s most famous software company – and to fit a circumscribed space as though it had been there from time immemorial.
By Jon Mitovich

Take the world’s most prolific consumer technology company on one hand and, on the other, its desire to augment its corporate headquarters with a natural exterior environment intended to capture geological processes that span millions of years:  It’s a collision of present and past, of technology and nature, that is filled with meaning as well as exciting potential.

Those sorts of thoughts and paradoxes were somewhere on everyone’s minds as we approached the design and installation of a grand-scale watershape at Microsoft’s Redmond, Wash., corporate campus.  Our aim:  to create a spectacular and entirely

Read more: A Window into Nature

A Clear, Clean Public Service

The structures and grounds at the Cross Valley Water District’s headquarters in Clearview, Wash., stand as a prime example of how a public facility can send important messages to the community about responsible environmental stewardship.  According to landscape architect Sandra Hasegawa Ingalls of Foresight, Inc., the project’s watershape is a key element in a broad program that makes this facility what she hopes is a model for others to come.
The structures and grounds at the Cross Valley Water District’s headquarters in Clearview, Wash., stand as a prime example of how a public facility can send important messages to the community about responsible environmental stewardship. According to landscape architect Sandra Hasegawa Ingalls of Foresight, Inc., the project’s watershape is a key element in a broad program that makes this facility what she hopes is a model for others to come.
By Sandra Hasegawa Ingalls

Sometimes it’s the small things that give a project its character and value.

In the case of landscape design and installation at the Cross Valley Water District facility, we were able to take a relatively modest property and transform it into a demonstration campus that illustrates how man-made environments can be used to enhance the natural surroundings and meet the needs of human beings – and do it all with grace and harmony.  

I became involved in this project in June 1998, when I was approached by Brandt McCorkle, Lee Beard and Galen Page of Page & Beard Architects.  That firm had been chosen to design the water district’s new headquarters building and had developed a craftsman-style structure that blended perfectly with its rural, wooded surroundings.   

Set on five acres in Clearview, Wash., the district office serves

Read more: A Clear, Clean Public Service

Harmonic Resonance: David Slawson’s Platinum Standard Project

b_400_400_16777215_00_images_archart_200412Platinum_20041225Slawson_25A.jpgWatershaping advanced by leaps and bounds from 1999 through 2004 – a journey of artistry and practicality that was an inspiration to witness.  In this retrospective feature, WaterShapes Editor Eric Herman reviews 25 key projects published during that time frame, offering an ongoing resource to watershapers while defining a Platinum Standard for the designers, engineers, builders and artists who use water as their chosen medium.

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David Slawson
Cleveland

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The Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs, Ark., features an amazingly realistic composition of stone, plants and water known as “The Garden of the Pine Wind.”  Designed and built by landscape artist David Slawson, the space includes waterfalls organized by three main weir structures that descend 90 feet from top to bottom; a gorgeous stone-arch bridge; and a range of orchestrated streams and pathways all rendered with maximum attention to detail, lines of sight, stone materials and plants.

Watershaping advanced by leaps and bounds from 1999 through 2004 – a journey of artistry and practicality that was an inspiration to witness.  In this retrospective feature, WaterShapes Editor Eric Herman reviews 25 key projects published during that time frame, offering an ongoing resource to watershapers while defining a Platinum Standard for the designers, engineers, builders and artists who use water as their chosen medium.

 

David Slawson

Cleveland

 

The Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs, Ark., features an amazingly realistic composition of stone, plants and water known as “The Garden of the Pine Wind.”  Designed and built by landscape artist David Slawson, the space includes waterfalls organized by three main weir structures that descend 90 feet from top to bottom; a gorgeous stone-arch bridge; and a range of orchestrated streams and pathways all rendered with maximum attention to detail, lines of sight, stone materials and plants.

Cool, Clear Water: George Forni’s Platinum Standard Project

b_400_400_16777215_00_images_archart_200412Platinum_20041223Forni_23A.jpgWatershaping advanced by leaps and bounds from 1999 through 2004 – a journey of artistry and practicality that was an inspiration to witness.  In this retrospective feature, WaterShapes Editor Eric Herman reviews 25 key projects published during that time frame, offering an ongoing resource to watershapers while defining a Platinum Standard for the designers, engineers, builders and artists who use water as their chosen medium.

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George Forni
Creative Environments
Alamo, Calif.

 

 

 

Sometimes man-made ponds and lakes are created for swimming as well as for their rustic beauty.  In this project, George Forni installed an extensive filtration and circulation system to create crystal clear water for a large pond that not only reflects the beauty of the surrounding landscape but also encourages the homeowners and their visitors to jump in for a dip.  The pond is fed by a small, meandering stream, while grassy edge treatments and sub-surface rocks offer easy access to the water.

Duffer’s Delight: Ken Alperstein’s Platinum Standard Project

b_400_400_16777215_00_images_archart_200412Platinum_20041221Alperstein_21A.jpgWatershaping advanced by leaps and bounds from 1999 through 2004 – a journey of artistry and practicality that was an inspiration to witness.  In this retrospective feature, WaterShapes Editor Eric Herman reviews 25 key projects published during that time frame, offering an ongoing resource to watershapers while defining a Platinum Standard for the designers, engineers, builders and artists who use water as their chosen medium.

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Ken Alperstein
Pinnacle Design
Palm Desert, Calif.

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The watershapes found on golf courses often stand among the largest and most detailed naturalistic streams and ponds found anywhere.  This California project, designed and installed by Ken Alperstein’s firm and known as The Quarry, features extensive watershapes, vast planted areas, expanses of natural and artificial rockwork, thousands of yards of meandering streams, huge lakes and cascades that beautify the course while blending it visually with the striking geology of the surrounding desert.  

Full Gallop: Jim Morris’s Platinum Standard Project

b_400_400_16777215_00_images_archart_200412Platinum_20041210Morris_10A.jpgWatershaping advanced by leaps and bounds from 1999 through 2004 – a journey of artistry and practicality that was an inspiration to witness.  In this retrospective feature, WaterShapes Editor Eric Herman reviews 25 key projects published during that time frame, offering an ongoing resource to watershapers while defining a Platinum Standard for the designers, engineers, builders and artists who use water as their chosen medium.

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Jim Morris
Natural Pools & Waterfalls
Denver

This composition in water, stone, plant material and bronze stands at the main entrance to Invesco Field, home of the National Football League’s Denver Broncos.  The work of Italian sculptor Sergio Benvenuti, the seven broncos gallop up a rocky slope in a 72-foot long, 35-foot wide space leading into the stadium.  Jim Morris’ firm prepared the structure, hydraulics and stonework for the broncos, producing an iconic watershape that has become one of Denver’s most photographed attractions.

Rugged Renewal: Mike Raible’s, E.J. Biernesser’s & Pete Biernesser’s Platinum Standard Project

b_400_400_16777215_00_images_archart_200412Platinum_2004129Biernesser_9A.jpgWatershaping advanced by leaps and bounds from 1999 through 2004 – a journey of artistry and practicality that was an inspiration to witness.  In this retrospective feature, WaterShapes Editor Eric Herman reviews 25 key projects published during that time frame, offering an ongoing resource to watershapers while defining a Platinum Standard for the designers, engineers, builders and artists who use water as their chosen medium.
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Mike Raible, E.J. Biernesser & Pete Biernesser
Glacier, Inc.
Glenshaw, Pa.

 

 

This mountain lake had been utterly devastated by a storm and is a case where the watershaping and landscaping arts have been applied to aid a natural body of water.  In reclaiming the site’s awesome beauty, the crews at Glacier, Inc., moved hundreds of tons of boulders and carefully restored a long stretch of shoreline that now features streams and pathways leading down to the lake, where stones have been strategically placed just below the water’s surface to facilitate fly fishing.

Imperial Splendor: Katsura Rikyu as a Platinum Standard Project

b_400_400_16777215_00_images_archart_200412Platinum_2004127Roth_7A.jpgWatershaping advanced by leaps and bounds from 1999 through 2004 – a journey of artistry and practicality that was an inspiration to witness.  In this retrospective feature, WaterShapes Editor Eric Herman reviews 25 key projects published during that time frame, offering an ongoing resource to watershapers while defining a Platinum Standard for the designers, engineers, builders and artists who use water as their chosen medium.

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Katsura Rikyu, Kyoto, Japan
Presented by Douglas Roth
Journal of Japanese Gardening
Rockport, Maine

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Described by Japanese garden expert Douglas Roth as being akin to “walking into a three-dimensional painting,” Katsura Rikyu is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful of all the world’s Japanese gardens.  Roth traveled to Kyoto, Japan, to photograph and bask in Katsura’s transcendent beauty while defining for us the near-hypnotic effect its natural forms, meandering waterways and paths, asymmetrical spatial balances and generations of painstaking care have always had on visitors.

Passion’s Power: Melanie Jauregui’s Platinum Standard Project

b_400_400_16777215_00_images_archart_200412Platinum_2004125Jauregui_5A.jpgWatershaping advanced by leaps and bounds from 1999 through 2004 – a journey of artistry and practicality that was an inspiration to witness.  In this retrospective feature, WaterShapes Editor Eric Herman reviews 25 key projects published during that time frame, offering an ongoing resource to watershapers while defining a Platinum Standard for the designers, engineers, builders and artists who use water as their chosen medium.

 

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Melanie Jauregui
Biomirage Landscape & Garden Design
San Diego

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Garden designer Melanie Jauregui bases her stylistic approaches on cues she gleans from extensive conversations with her clients.  This thorough brand of “sympathetic design” very often results in beautifully evocative watershape compositions such as this one, where her use of an arched bridge, terraced edge treatments, natural materials and richly varied plant selections combine to create a space that draws visitors in while fully reflecting the values, needs and sensibilities of the homeowners.

Natural Impulses: Jim Lampl’s Platinum Standard Project

b_400_400_16777215_00_images_archart_200412Platinum_2004123Lampl_3A.jpgWatershaping advanced by leaps and bounds from 1999 through 2004 – a journey of artistry and practicality that was an inspiration to witness.  In this retrospective feature, WaterShapes Editor Eric Herman reviews 25 key projects published during that time frame, offering an ongoing resource to watershapers while defining a Platinum Standard for the designers, engineers, builders and artists who use water as their chosen medium.


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Jim Lampl
Lampl Landscape Service
Allison Park, Pa.

 

 

Master gardener Jim Lampl has spent years studying Japanese garden design, a background on full display in this unassuming watershape with its small stream and delicate waterfall.  Where others might have employed bolder flows, Lampl opted instead for an ennobling subtlety in creating a careful composition of rock, water and plant material.  In the process, he uses colors, layered views and natural forms that evoke the Japanese masters who have guided his work here and elsewhere.

Life in an Oasis

The Entrada Golf Course on the outskirts of St. George, Utah, stands at the heart of an unusual cluster of housing developments.  For the past five years, watershaper Richard Allen has worked non-stop to integrate the entire, grand composition through its watershapes, from big lakes and watercourses to intimate streams that run along the property lines of many of the homes – all in the name of creating a much-desired oasis in an arid landscape.
The Entrada Golf Course on the outskirts of St. George, Utah, stands at the heart of an unusual cluster of housing developments. For the past five years, watershaper Richard Allen has worked non-stop to integrate the entire, grand composition through its watershapes, from big lakes and watercourses to intimate streams that run along the property lines of many of the homes – all in the name of creating a much-desired oasis in an arid landscape.
By Richard Allen

When people talk about how much they love living in the desert, I’ve come to believe that what they really mean is that they love living in an oasis looking out onto the desert.

That’s profoundly ironic, but my clients in St. George, Utah, have all chosen for one reason or another to move to an extraordinarily arid place and seem universally to crave the presence of water in their immediate surroundings.  This is indeed one of the most important things they’re looking for in homes in our developments.

It’s one of the reasons why

Read more: Life in an Oasis

Cascading Exertion

1-22 triplett video artBy Eric Triplett

Earlier in this sequence of articles and videos, I mentioned how much I enjoy the fact that pond installation is an improvisational art form:  You can roll through a design in your head and sketch it until your pencils are worn to nubs, but the reality is that working with boulders is a process of placement and on-site adjustment that ultimately brings a design vision to life.

That’s particularly true with waterfalls, which is why this single part of the series encompasses four videos and nearly 40 minutes of running time.  And as you will notice, there are probably more

Read more: Cascading Exertion

Striking a Chord

Nestled in the sprawling, 210-acre Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs, Ark., are four acres of rocks, plants and water assembled by landscape artist and Japanese-garden specialist David Slawson.  It’s a space that serves as the garden’s centerpiece and springs from what he calls his ‘triangle of accord,’ an approach that combines sensitivity to the site with the character and desire of the client as well as the beauty of indigenous rock and plant materials.
Nestled in the sprawling, 210-acre Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs, Ark., are four acres of rocks, plants and water assembled by landscape artist and Japanese-garden specialist David Slawson. It’s a space that serves as the garden’s centerpiece and springs from what he calls his ‘triangle of accord,’ an approach that combines sensitivity to the site with the character and desire of the client as well as the beauty of indigenous rock and plant materials.
By David Slawson

When I first walked the four acres of wooded ravines of what would later be christened “The Garden of Wind and Pine” at the heart of the Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs, Ark., I was both delighted and daunted by the experience.

The delight came in the site’s sublime natural beauty, which reminded me of tromping through the woods as a child – an activity I enjoy to this day.  As for my sense of unease, I don’t know which was more significant:  the expansiveness of the dry drainage ravines that were to be converted to ever-varying cascades and streams, or the omnipresence of ticks and poison ivy.

When I made my first visit in the fall of 1999, the site was part of an undeveloped 210-acre woodland parcel on the shore of Lake Hamilton given to the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville by Verna Garvan.  She had long seen the peninsula as the ideal setting for a botanical garden and had spent two decades developing her vision, planting camellias and azaleas and a rose garden and commissioning a pavilion by the architect Fay Jones and his partner, Maurice Jennings.

I had worked in Fayetteville before, crafting a

Read more: Striking a Chord

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