By Robert Mikula
As purveyors of fountains and other forms of decorative or recreational water, watershapers are faced these days by an immediate challenge: What we do is generally classified as “unsustainable” by an environmentally conscious public because they erroneously assume poor performance when it comes to the way we approach water consumption, use of space and energy efficiency.
On the surface, these are serious knocks on
By Robert Mikula
As watershapers, we’re comfortable using our chosen medium as a place-maker, an entertainer and a resource for recreation. In doing so, we take advantage of the fact that water is a unique, extremely versatile substance that can be manipulated in innumerable ways.
We also accommodate the thought that, supreme among design media, water has a pronounced and often profound effect on people who
By Mike Farley
In concept, water walls are pretty straightforward: You pump a bit of water to the top of a structure and set up a weir or spillways or a system of emitters to release water so that it moves down the face of the wall the way you want it to flow.
In actuality, however, water walls are much more complicated than that. In fact, there are lots of things that
By Asmaa Elkorazati
Projects in significant public spaces are rewarding on many levels, but they also carry their fair share of challenges, mostly in the forms of scheduling, coordination and communication.
For us at Crystal Fountains (Concord, Ontario, Canada), these hurdles are beyond familiar: For decades, we’ve been a go-to working partner for fountain and interactive waterfeature projects around the world, from the Crown Fountain
By Josh Martin
When it comes to ostentatious and even audacious aquatic displays, there’s no doubt that the Middle East now boasts some of the world’s most incredible watershapes. Even a quick survey reveals a tremendous range of architectural and hydrological marvels in which technology is paired with grandeur to stunning effect.
Several instances of this exuberance appear on
By Mike Farley
This is one of those cases where, from a design perspective, I said just about everything I wanted to say about rain-curtain effects in the video linked below.
They look great, they sound even better and my clients love them. So what else is there to consider? Well,
By Ron Melbourne
Yards Park is a wonderful open space in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood of Washington, D.C. One of its main attractions is in the middle block of the park, where you’ll find a grand watershape with a footprint that covers an area spanning 20 by 135 feet.
At one end, there’s a fountain/waterfeature that immediately catches the eye. But the big draw
By Robert Nonemaker
When the management at Longwood Gardens announced in late 2014 that the Main Fountain Garden would be taken offline and become the subject of a $90 million restoration project, anyone who has ever visited the gardens had to be happy.
I’ve been a regular visitor and huge fan of the Longwood for most of my life, and it’s been sad through the years to watch various systems break down and the overall performance of what was left gradually
By David L’Heureux
Starting in 1661, Louis XIV of France began a building project at his country estate in Versailles that would keep him busy throughout what remained of his reign. He held on all the way through until 1715, so he had a good, long time to browbeat large numbers of architects, designers and engineers into making the chateau a statement of power, wealth and majesty befitting a man who called himself Le Roi Soleil
For much of human history, those with power and wealth have been willing to put both on display in the places they choose to reside. There are palaces and great houses all over the planet, each one testifying to the grandeur of its owner and the talents of the architects and designers brought in to turn grand visions into actual structures and garden spaces.
Often, those commissioning these conspicuous projects were members of
By Jim Wilder
No matter where you turn these days, you’ll find watershaping experts preaching the gospel of balanced hydraulics. In class after class, text after text, they all say that if you do exactly the same thing on one side of a tee as you do on the other, you will get the same flow on both side of that tee.
If, for example, two main drains are connected to a single tee with pipes of the same length and diameter and the same fittings, those drains will both draw equal amounts of
By Jim Wilder
Water in the open basins that commonly surround fountain jets or nozzles is never tranquil while these systems are in operation. It will slosh around in response to the upward thrust of those jets or nozzles as well as the splashing the rising water makes as it drops back into the basin. If the circumstances are right, this disruptive splashing will produce waves in a distinct, consistent pattern. By exploiting these waves, it’s possible to produce an effect I find
By Karen Van Heukelem
In recent years, cities across the United States have found that restoring their old train stations is a great way to attract people and commerce to downtown districts that have seen better days. These revitalization projects have picked up the pace in cities from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles, and they seem to work best when old, original functions are preserved and mixed in with the new.
That’s precisely the direction that redevelopment of Denver’s historic Union Station has taken: The classic, Beaux Arts-style building, which opened in 1914, lost almost all of the