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Moving from backyard ponds to commercial fountains is a big leap, says Tim Krzeminski, one that requires diligence, expanded skill sets and organizational discipline -- not to mention the raw courage needed to tackle bigger, more complex systems with huge public profiles.
Moving from backyard ponds to commercial fountains is a big leap, says Tim Krzeminski, one that requires diligence, expanded skill sets and organizational discipline -- not to mention the raw courage needed to tackle bigger, more complex systems with huge public profiles.
By Tim Krzeminski

Back in the 1960s there was a sign on a road entering Alaska that read, “Choose your rut carefully – you will be in it for the next 200 miles.”

Changing lanes in business can be stressful and risky, but sometimes it’s the wisest choice because the road you’re on could be leading nowhere. That’s what happened to our company, Laughing Waters.

I started out in the pond business as a teenager and for years we were full-speed ahead installing naturalistic water features, including ponds, streams

b_400_400_16777215_00_images_11-4-20BTSimages_BTS_Logo_865x649.jpgWhile many construction details are forever hidden from view, notes Dave Peterson, others stand front and center. This waterwall treatment, for instance, is a prime example of a simple design idea that shapes the fluid characteristics of the feature while also keeping it from splashing into the surrounding area.

Adaptation, design flexibility, multi-functionality and an ability to vanish completely were all required in this masterful project engineered and designed by Daniel Netz. Here, he explains the ideas and processes that resulted in a waterfeature meant to be both iconic and completely retiring.
Adaptation, design flexibility, multi-functionality and an ability to vanish  completely were all required in this masterful project engineered and designed by Daniel Netz.  Here, he explains the ideas and processes that resulted in a waterfeature meant to be both iconic and completely retiring.
By Daniel Netz

Designing fountain features requires understanding the needs of the space, the clients and how the technology meets those demands. The Atlantic Station Park Expansion Project in Atlanta is a classic example of that kind of design adaptation – especially considering the engineering methodology needed to bring complex water displays to life.

When our company, Fountain Source, Sierra Madre, Calif., became involved, the property was

The Station Park show fountain in Farmington, Utah, uses technology to attract and delight consumers in a competitive retail environment. With its cast of programmable effects choreographed to popular music, says Chris Thomas, it's brought a certain theatrical flair to the setting.
The Station Park show fountain in Farmington, Utah, uses technology to attract and delight consumers in a competitive retail environment. With its cast of programmable effects choreographed to popular music, says Chris Thomas, it's brought a certain theatrical flair to the setting.
By Chris Thomas

Station Park is a modern mix of upscale retail, dining and entertainment venues with more than 1.2 million square feet of commercial space. It includes an event venue, health center, luxury hotel, ice rink, 14-screen movie theater – and a dazzling outdoor show fountain.

Our company, Fountain People (San Marcos, Texas), worked closely with developers and designers on the way to creating a world-class, choreographed water feature that provides a unique and exciting experience every hour on the hour. The fountain dances to the music of popular artists, old and new, with a

This long, narrow fountain was aimed at transforming a building's huge atrium into a relaxing space for its collection of high-stress tenants. Executing the job took creativity, writes Robert Nonemaker -- but it also required detailed planning and monumental, step-by-step efficiency.
This long, narrow fountain was aimed at transforming a building's huge atrium into a relaxing space for its collection of high-stress tenants.  Executing the job took creativity, writes Robert Nonemaker -- but it also required detailed planning and monumental, step-by-step efficiency.
By Robert Nonemaker

As a company that’s been around for many years in the landscape and pool trades, we knew as we expanded our offerings to include fountain restoration, design and installation that experience and contacts would eventually lead to referrals. What’s been unexpected given our past work with mainly residential clients is that fact that our fountain referrals have come in bunches as we work with developers and architects and get involved in

Now familiar with the unusual realities of the huge fountain-renovation project they'd undertaken, J. Wickham Zimmerman and Chris Roy had to figure out how to proceed despite difficult access, limited pipe penetrations and, of course, super-high civic expectations.
Now familiar with the unusual realities of the huge fountain-renovation project they'd undertaken, J. Wickham Zimmerman and Chris Roy had to figure out how to proceed despite difficult access, limited pipe penetrations and, of course, super-high civic expectations.
By J. Wickham Zimmerman & Chris Roy

It’s the nature of the game: One of the great sources of pride for any good watershaping business has to do with its ability to find solutions to difficult challenges – a new way to achieve something familiar when the established or conventional approach won’t work, for example, or dealing with site constraints that repeatedly send you back to the drawing board.

That’s the sort of pride we had coming out of our work on the Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain and its accompanying splash pad at Grand Park in Los Angeles, and it was intensified by the fact that this was the restoration of a 60-year-old fountain that had originally been built with an entirely different approach from anything we’d consider today – but whose physical constraints we couldn’t

It's tough to develop a landscape design that satisfies the social needs of a family while also meeting the practical needs of a thriving home-based business, writes Colleen Holmes. Ever consider what's involved in setting up a parking lot so it also serves as an off-hours retreat?
It's tough to develop a landscape design that satisfies the social needs of a family while also meeting the practical needs of a thriving home-based business, writes Colleen Holmes.  Ever consider what's involved in setting up a parking lot so it also serves as an off-hours retreat?
By Colleen Holmes

For most of my professional life, I’ve worked on projects in which the dominant color is green. With the project under discussion here, however, both the client and the setting called for something quite different.

As I knew going in, the property, located in Northridge, Calif., is both a residence and a place of business, so on any given workday multiple cars and trucks invade the space and need convenient places to park. But while this primary use of a plaza-scale space as a parking pad suited clients’ business needs, it was plainly too dusty and downright bleak to offer any

Approaching the renovation of an historic fountain set over an existing, untouchable structure is daunting enough. But it gets tougher, write J. Wickham Zimmerman and Chris Roy, when the original documentation is sketchy and you have no choice but to figure out how to proceed.
Approaching the renovation of an historic fountain set over an existing, untouchable structure is daunting enough.  But it gets tougher, write J. Wickham Zimmerman and Chris Roy, when the original documentation is sketchy and you have no choice but to figure out how to proceed.
By J. Wickham Zimmerman & Chris Roy

With any watershape renovation project, there’s a great deal of anticipation of what you’ll discover once the system is dismantled to whatever degree or level is necessary. In some cases, all is well and the process of reworking structures and systems unfolds smoothly. In others, however, there are surprises that can take your breath away.

This was one of those “other” cases – the restoration of an historic fountain that had been in place since 1958 as well as the upgrading of an adjacent space to accommodate a splash pad for interactive play and provide a stage for

Using a concept based on no more than a photograph he'd once spotted online, Jerry Romano traversed uncharted territory to reverse-engineer the 'mystery fountain' that now serves as his company's calling card along a heavily wooded stretch of New Jersey road.
Using a concept based on no more than a photograph he'd once spotted online, Jerry Romano traversed uncharted territory to reverse-engineer the 'mystery fountain' that now serves as his company's calling card along a heavily wooded stretch of New Jersey road.
By Jerry Romano

This story starts with a tree falling in the forest.

It wasn’t just any tree: It was a huge locust that had stood next to what is now my driveway for years beyond reckoning, and when it came down it did its best to take a tangle of utility lines with it.

I wasn’t there when all of this happened, but I returned soon thereafter and saw the lingering effects: The utility companies had done a wonderful job of cutting away portions of the tree that had fallen onto the wires and had effectively cleared the road, but

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Splash pads have jumped in popularity by bringing fun to a variety of public spaces. But there's one key factor to keep in mind in their design and installation, writes Chris Thomas, that helps these inviting, entertaining features serve the broadest possible spectrum of visitors. 

By Chris Thomas

Creating inclusive play areas is a priority for parks, aquatic facilities and other public places where people gather. From the watershaping perspective, it's part of a current trend in which many recreation departments, homeowner associations, and community centers are installing

Building an elaborate, choreographed fountain in a public place is always a technical and logistical challenge. But in this case, note J. Wickham Zimmerman and Chris Roy, the stakes were significantly raised by the developer's bold vision as well as the project's geographic location.
Building an elaborate, choreographed fountain in a public place is always a technical and logistical challenge.  But in this case, note J. Wickham Zimmerman and Chris Roy, the stakes were significantly raised by the developer's bold vision as well as the project's geographic location.
By J. Wickham Zimmerman & Chris Roy

Through the past few years, certain parts of Idaho have seen large influxes of people from California, some of them seeking more bucolic lifestyles, others heading into retirement and still others looking for places where taxes are lower than they are in the Golden State.

As it turns out, these folks have been transplanting more than just their personal hopes and dreams, with pieces of California culture following them wherever they go. They’re arriving in cities like Boise with preferences in mind as well as the resources required to make

The logistics were tough and the technical challenges even tougher, notes Robert Nonemaker. But a systematic approach (and a supportive general contractor) helped him and his staff develop a hydraulically complex fountain system for a corporate client with big ambitions.
The logistics were tough and the technical challenges even tougher, notes Robert Nonemaker.  But a systematic approach (and a supportive general contractor) helped him and his staff develop a hydraulically complex fountain system for a corporate client with big ambitions.
By Robert Nonemaker

One of the things we value most in our fountain projects is that no two of them are ever the same. I can make that same statement about our custom pool projects, of course, but it’s a matter of degree: Where uniqueness from pool to pool is about selecting just the right possibilities among shapes, elevations and materials, for instance, from fountain to fountain it’s about inventing and adapting technology and pushing accepted limits to make ideas work.

The fountain under discussion in this article is a perfect illustration of that distinction. Making it happen was about

Faced with what he saw as a clear need to simplify the task of choreographing dancing fountains, Scott Palamar applied what he knew about control technology to the problem -- and the result is an approach that makes both new and old waterfeatures dance to a fresh beat.
Faced with what he saw as a clear need to simplify the task of choreographing dancing fountains, Scott Palamar applied what he knew about control technology to the problem -- and the result is an approach that makes both new and old waterfeatures dance to a fresh beat.
By Scott Palamar

Picture this: A seaside fountain in which jets of water are arrayed and programed to emulate a Pacific Ocean swell. It’s designed as a mirror to existing conditions, using real-time ocean-observation data to determine the exact timing and height of the fountain’s jet sequence.

Or this: An installation scheduled by its managers to function as an interactive-play fountain at certain times of the day when children are likeliest to be present, or as a musical/performing fountain in the evenings or at other times when the property owner’s desire is to entertain and help people relax.

Or this: A fountain that

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