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Located at the entrance to the new home for the National Football League’s Denver Broncos, this unique vertical watershape is the combination of ambitious visual design, massive bronze sculptures, complex cascades, rugged rockwork and delicate alpine landscaping – and all Jim Morris and his staff at Natural Pools & Waterfalls of Denver had to do was figure out how to make a grand concept work.
Located at the entrance to the new home for the National Football League’s Denver Broncos, this unique vertical watershape is the combination of ambitious visual design, massive bronze sculptures, complex cascades, rugged rockwork and delicate alpine landscaping – and all Jim Morris and his staff at Natural Pools & Waterfalls of Denver had to do was figure out how to make a grand concept work.
By Jim Morris

It’s not every day you get the chance to work on a project that’s going to be seen around the world by millions of people for decades to come.  

That was exactly the opportunity that came our way in October 1999, when we were asked by the Denver Broncos to construct an elaborate waterfeature at Invesco Field at Mile High, a brand-new stadium that opened at the beginning of the 2001 football season.

The project architect – HNTB Sports of Kansas City, Mo. – had developed

For more than two decades, California artist Rafe Affleck has been combining the crisp rigidity of stainless steel with the shimmering reflectivity of flowing water to create a substantial and distinctive body of work. His sculptures, in which liquid is much, much more than a mere accent to metal, grace dozens of commercial, public and private spaces, in every case making bold statements that puzzle, delight, sooth or inspire those who pass by.
For more than two decades, California artist Rafe Affleck has been combining the crisp rigidity of stainless steel with the shimmering reflectivity of flowing water to create a substantial and distinctive body of work.  His sculptures, in which liquid is much, much more than a mere accent to metal, grace dozens of commercial, public and private spaces, in every case making bold statements that puzzle, delight, sooth or inspire those who pass by.
By Rafe Affleck

From the beginning of my career as a sculptor, I’ve mostly given myself over to two simple elements – metal and water – and have tried to develop approaches that turn one into an extension of the other.

I like the sense that a sheet of flowing water completes the simple stainless steel shapes I create.  I also like to play with illusion by creating the impression that the water appears to come from nowhere.  And I like getting involved in the hydraulics of laminar flow by making the water emerge from steel as a smooth, cohesive sheet.

In a sense, I draw constant inspiration from

The designers at the landscape architecture firm of Janet Rosenberg & Associates believe that water can be used in almost every setting to add interest, beauty and a sense of tranquility to their work. What that means in design terms will change in response to a setting’s needs and a client’s expectations, say Janet Rosenberg and Glenn Herman – and can lead to solutions from the simple and retiring to the bold and complex.
The designers at the landscape architecture firm of Janet Rosenberg & Associates believe that water can be used in almost every setting to add interest, beauty and a sense of tranquility to their work.  What that means in design terms will change in response to a setting’s needs and a client’s expectations, say Janet Rosenberg and Glenn Herman – and can lead to solutions from the simple and retiring to the bold and complex.
By Janet Rosenberg & Glenn Herman

No matter how it’s used – as a focal point in a design or as just another feature balanced among many – the thoughtful use of water offers landscape architects and other watershape designers a huge range of aesthetic opportunities.  Indeed, the water’s texture, reflectivity, sounds and sculptural qualities can all be used to enhance the observer’s experience as he or she moves through an environment, and in a near-infinite number of ways.

Regardless of how familiar one becomes with these attributes and using them in built spaces, the presence of water in a design often yields something new, interesting and even unexpected.  Whether you use it as a visual transition, a physical destination, an expression of nature or an architectural statement, water is

Of all watershapes now being installed in public settings, dry-deck fountains are among of the most popular – and for good reason, says fountain expert Jon Mitovich. Their simplicity of appearance, dynamic interactive quality, compelling accessibility and basic safety have all increased the demand for these displays, he says, noting that they’ve quickly gone from novelty status to become a dominant strain in the evolution of contemporary waterfeatures.
Of all watershapes now being installed in public settings, dry-deck fountains are among of the most popular – and for good reason, says fountain expert Jon Mitovich.  Their simplicity of appearance, dynamic interactive quality, compelling accessibility and basic safety have all increased the demand for these displays, he says, noting that they’ve quickly gone from novelty status to become a dominant strain in the evolution of contemporary waterfeatures.
By Jon Mitovich

Just as with species in the animal kingdom, architectural construction styles and techniques evolve over time, adapting to changes in the environment.

In the case of fountains, these evolutionary transitions have been both complex and indicative of broader trends.  Ancient wellsprings, for example, eventually gave way to decorative fountains with intricately carved stone sculptures.  More recently, monolithic block, walled and stepped fountain forms have held sway.  

It’s not much of a stretch to say that the latest significant “mutation” in this remarkable lineage is the dry-deck fountain:  At a time when open space is at a premium and the public is being invited as never before to interact and participate in the architectural landscape, dry-deck fountains may well be the

In creating sculptures and watershapes inspired by local history, geography and natural features, public artist Ross Miller aims to delight and soothe all passersby while especially rewarding those who see a deeper meaning. Whether the water in these compositions is vigorous and crashing or gentle and vaporous, he says, his goal is to shape spaces that celebrate local heritage and enrich the spirit of their communities.
In creating sculptures and watershapes inspired by local history, geography and natural features, public artist Ross Miller aims to delight and soothe all passersby while especially rewarding those who see a deeper meaning.  Whether the water in these compositions is vigorous and crashing or gentle and vaporous, he says, his goal is to shape spaces that celebrate local heritage and enrich the spirit of their communities.
By Ross Miller

At its most basic, public art creates spaces in which people experience art without paying hard-earned dollars to own it or going to a museum or gallery to see it.

Public art is also about giving everyone within eyeshot new types of experiences amid their daily routines.  Perhaps it’s an object they’ll pass on the way to the subway or an environment they’ll spot out of the corner of an eye as they drive to the grocery store.  Maybe it’s a place where people gather to eat lunch or a landmark for arranging meetings with friends.  Whether it’s familiar to the viewer or sneaks up unexpectedly, the work becomes

A unique mix of folk art and high technology, the Uncle Wilbur Fountain in Colorado Springs, Colo., delights area children and parents alike with its music, animation and dancing waters. Achieving these effects required great focus, says Anne Gunn of St. Louis-based fountain design/manufacturing firm HydroDramatics, as the design team carried a whimsical work of art from concept through to a most vivid reality. (Photo by Jacquie Rogers)
A unique mix of folk art and high technology, the Uncle Wilbur Fountain in Colorado Springs, Colo., delights area children and parents alike with its music, animation and dancing waters.  Achieving these effects required great focus, says Anne Gunn of St. Louis-based fountain design/manufacturing firm HydroDramatics, as the design team carried a whimsical work of art from concept through to a most vivid reality.   (Photo by Jacquie Rogers)
By Anne Gunn

It began as the playful vision of Bob and Kat Tudor, husband-and-wife philanthropists and founders of The Smokebrush Theatre in Colorado Springs, Colo., who decided one day to donate a unique fountain to the children of their city.  Now that vision, fully realized, belongs to the citizens of this sprawling town at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in the form of a dazzling water display and a folksy character named Uncle Wilber.

Multi-talented artists in their own rights, the Tudors developed the aesthetic and creative concepts but knew from the start that they would need to enlist advanced technical expertise to

200305DT0By David Tisherman

If you’ve been following this column for the past several issues, you already know a good bit about the magnificent (and magnificently difficult) project I completed late last year in the Malibu Colony.  Many times in those columns, I mentioned (mostly in passing) a system of four deck-level laminar jets we planned on installing.

As was the case with just about everything else on this project, incorporating the system of jets into the courtyard environment turned out to be far more complicated and challenging than we ever thought it would be.  When all was said and done, however, we all agreed that meeting this particular challenge was

b_400_400_16777215_00_images_archart_200412Platinum_20041220Hansen_20A.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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Richard Hansen
Pueblo, Colo.

 

 

Set on the Arkansas River in Pueblo, Colo., the Farley/Reilly Fountain was designed by sculptor Richard Hansen to mesh seamlessly with its urban surroundings while visually connecting the city’s new river walk with the water.  Inspired by local geology and influenced by Islamic styles, the stone structures mirror the elevations of the downtown’s architecture while the flow across the fountain’s base visually links the walk with the water and symbolizes the robust, healthy pulse of the river.

b_400_400_16777215_00_images_archart_200412Platinum_20041217Villa_17A.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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Villa d'Este, Tivoli, Italy
Presented by Mark Holden
Holdenwater
Fullerton, Calif.
 
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At 400 years old and counting, Italy's Villa d'Este is indisputably one of the world's paramount watershaping achievements.  Landscape architect and pool builder Mark Holden traveled there to explore the dazzling fountains, gardens and structures designed by renowned 16th-century historian and architect Pirro Ligorio and encountered an environment that, as he puts it, offers watershapers "a living, historic palette of ideas and stories related to us in three dimensions."

b_400_400_16777215_00_images_archart_200412Platinum_20041218Hobbs_18A.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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Maya Lin
New York   
 
William Hobbs & Wayne Pierce  
Hobbs Architectural Fountains    Atlanta     

      

 

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This unusual composition was designed by world-famous sculptor and architect Maya Lin and executed with the assistance of Hobbs Fountains, her frequent collaborators.  Commissioned by the Monroe Center in Grand Rapids, Mich., and called “Ecliptic” by Lin, it consists of two bookended outdoor displays – one an absolute-granite disk draped by a paper-thin flow of water, the other a circular fountain with a fog generator that conjures constantly changing visual effects.

b_400_400_16777215_00_images_archart_200412Platinum_20041216Copley_16A.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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Lynn Wolff & John Copley
Copley Wolff Design Group (CWDG)
Boston

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Lots of architectural fountains aren’t meant to be interactive but end up being treated that way.  Such was the case with the fountain in front of Boston’s First Church of Christ, Scientist, to which local children flocked for relief from summer’s heat despite the fact that the watershape was purely decorative.  For lots of reasons, the church called in CWDG to revise the facility, which now features barrier-free, foot-friendly surfaces and dancing jets that make the site safer and even more fun.

b_400_400_16777215_00_images_archart_200412Platinum_20041214Rosenberg_14A.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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Janet Rosenberg & Glenn Herman
Janet Rosenberg & Associates
Toronto

 

 

Perched eleven stories high on a wind-swept terrace above Lake Ontario Harbor, this small, angular terrace was arranged to make a singularly modern sculptural statement.  Textured, serpentine stainless steel walls, ledger stone, a raised water trough, a hand-carved Indian stone basin, stone decking and tall specimen grass were deployed by Janet Rosenberg’s firm to transform what was essentially wasted space into an award-winning design that connects the terrace with distant lake views.

b_400_400_16777215_00_images_archart_200412Platinum_2004128Affleck_8A.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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Rafe Affleck
North Hollywood, Calif.

 

Artist Rafe Affleck not only uses water to accentuate and reflect his unique brand of stainless steel sculpture, but also works with cascades and sheeting flows of water to extend and visually complete the shapes and contours he defines.  Indeed, through artful use of precise hydraulics and low-tolerance metalcraft, he so fully integrates water with steel in dazzling impressions that he blurs the distinctions between liquid and solid, static and kinetic, as the eye moves across graceful forms and geometries.

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