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.
This article, originally published in April 2006, has been digitized for all readers. Click here to see the full text and enlarge the images to study the craftsmanship in detail.
A Pool-Lighting Primer
Giving clients the information they need to participate intelligently in project discussions is too important to leave to chance, says Lew Akins. That's why he offers them brief video guides to what's coming -- including this one on lighting pools and their surroundings. [more]
Sliding into Backyard Waterparks, 2
Modular slides offer watershapers a great deal of flexibility, notes Kathryn Varden -- and come with relatively simple sets of installation procedures that can help designers and builders work with homeowners to make shared visions of 'backyard waterparks' a reality. [more]
A Pain in the Neck
A recent round of unusually severe back pain led Jim McCloskey to take to his spa for some hydrotherapy. It also gives him the opportunity to vent publicly here about a particular feature of his own watershape that has been driving him 'round the bend for nearly 25 years. [more]
Specializing in naturalistic watershapes clearly requires an appreciation of nature, says Robert Vaughn. Making these bodies of water look at home in an area where your work is surrounded by the real thing, however, also calls for a sharply refined set of design and installation skills. [more]
On a campus brimming with high-toned visual attractions, the most unusual of all at UCLA is the Inverted Fountain. It's been the butt of occasional jokes and pranks, notes Jim McCloskey, but it's a great design solution just the same -- and one worthy of a pilgrimage. [more]
Now at WaterShapes.com . . .
While supplies last, you can purchase one of 15 available complete, mint-condition, 131-issue sets of WaterShapes, a print publication that set the tone for development of the art and craft of watershaping from February 1999 until July 2011. For ordering information, click here!
Brian Van Bower wrote frequently in WaterShapes about topics near and dear to his heart -- one of which was the subject of a column ten years ago this month. To see what got him going, then and probably now, click here.
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
What was Swimming Movie Star
Esther Williams' MGM Nickname?
Many water-related stories have been in the news of late - including reports connected to the three questions below.
1. Legendary swimming movie star Esther Williams -- who passed away recently at the age of 91 -- had an aquatic-related nickname during her career at MGM Studios. The nickname was also the title of one of her most famous movies. What was it?
a. The Water Ballerina b. Million Dollar Mermaid c. Neptune's Daughter d. Bathing Beauty
2. Like Diana Nyad before her, Australian endurance swimmer Chloe McCardel was forced to abandon her attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida due to excruciating pain from being stung by a jellyfish. How far did she get before she had to be pulled from the water?
a. 20 km (about 12 mi) b. 40 km (about 24 mi) c. 60 km (about 37 mi) d. 80 km (about 49 mi)
3. The demolition of a community swimming pool has become a contentious political issue in the mayoral race of which Ohio city?
WaterShapes World (blog)
Reflecting on a difficult decision from a recent construction project at his home, Jim McCloskey has regrets about the way things turned out -- and learned a valuable lesson about trust along the way.