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

Part of a team that recently completed an intricate splash pad on the shores of Washington's scenic Puget Sound, Kent Walker guides a tour of a design centered on a faux shipwreck -- and its cargo of interactive features.
Part of a team that recently completed an intricate splash pad on the shores of Washington's scenic Puget Sound, Kent Walker guides a tour of a design centered on a faux shipwreck -- and its cargo of interactive features.
By Kent Walker

Creating custom interactive water features often involves not only understanding the needs of community stakeholders, but also the character and history of the place itself. 

That was certainly the case at Windjammer Park, a 28.5-acre waterfront recreational area located in the picturesque town of Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island in Washington State.

Nestled on the shores of the majestic Puget Sound, locals take

Through the past 15 years, golf-course designs have embraced a distinctly minimalist approach. It's a response, writes Ken Alperstein, to the fact that the number of courses being built has shrunk dramatically -- and that attitudes about water use are changing profoundly.
Through the past 15 years, golf-course designs have embraced a distinctly minimalist approach. It's a response, writes Ken Alperstein, to the fact that the number of courses being built has shrunk dramatically -- and that attitudes about water use are changing profoundly.
By Ken Alperstein

There’s no question that watershapes have become scarce on new golf courses. Where owners and designers once tried to one-up each other in terms of elaborate course design, including the expansive use of lakes, ponds, streams and waterfalls, today minimalism is the guiding principle, meaning water is rarely part of the program.

There are exceptions, of course, but they are extremely few and far between. As one example, we completed a project back in 2016 that included a 23-million gallon irrigation lake that is also an amenity/hazard. Located at the Scottsdale National Golf Club (SNGC) in Scottsdale, Ariz., it's the only significant

62420MFimageopener (1)Animating water in the form of a lazy river inspires many prospective pool owners, explains Mike Farley. But the cost and level of difficulty quickly narrow the opportunities, both for clients concerned with affordability and builders who need an important set of design and technical skills.

 

 

Turning his attention to a reflecting pool after completing two other watershapes on the same property, Steve Swanson suggested using a detail that was new to him. This bold move involved him directly in the home's overall visual impact and in a high-stakes learning curve.
Turning his attention to a reflecting pool after completing two other watershapes on the same property, Steve Swanson suggested using a detail that was new to him.  This bold move involved him directly in the home's overall visual impact and in a high-stakes learning curve.
By Steven Swanson

After starting in the pool industry more than 40 years ago as a service technician, I gradually became involved in repairs, then remodeling work and, finally, with design and new construction. I’ve now built commercial and high-end residential projects, done numerous vanishing-edge installations and have pursued designs and details I wouldn’t have dreamed of doing back in 1979.

But there was one look that I’d never had an opportunity to work on with any of my clients: a perimeter overflow.

That all changed last year in a backyard in Alamo, Calif., and the interesting thing is that

He's no stranger to big commercial projects, but Kurt Kraisinger considers this one unique. Here's a look at the design he developed for a plaza space that realized the ambitions of the office building's owner while satisfying the desires of tenants who'd ultimately use the space.
He's no stranger to big commercial projects, but Kurt Kraisinger considers this one unique.  Here's a look at the design he developed for a plaza space that realized the ambitions of the office building's owner while satisfying the desires of tenants who'd ultimately use the space.
By Kurt Kraisinger

This was a fun one – a project that was fully within our comfort zone but pushed us into new territory and gave us an opportunity to shine in a unique design context.

We had worked with the property-management firm before, and they called us in to have a look at a large space behind a multi-story office building in Overland Park, Kans., where we were also to meet with the building’s owner and some of the project’s stakeholders.

We had done well in our

Designing and installing botanical gardens may be soul-satisfying, but it's also a remarkable professional challenge. As Raymond Jungles writes in the first of three articles on the subject, these projects have multiple audiences, each of them bringing massive expectations to the table.
Designing and installing botanical gardens may be soul-satisfying, but it's also a remarkable professional challenge.  As Raymond Jungles writes in the first of three articles on the subject, these projects have multiple audiences, each of them bringing massive expectations to the table.
By Raymond Jungles

As a landscape architect, I’m passionate about creating gardens of every variety. But I like my work to benefit as many people as possible, so I get particularly engaged when these spaces are accessible to the general public.

This explains why I love working on botanical gardens and exploring the ways they allow me to focus on plants and education in fundamental ways. Through the past 30 years, I’ve had the privilege of working on slices of four different botanical gardens, so I also know the

Healing gardens are now playing important roles for healthcare facilities of all descriptions, note J. Wickham Zimmerman and Chris Roy. Here's a look at a particularly prominent example of the genre -- complete with a tricky site, an elaborate sculpture and 15 watershapes.
Healing gardens are now playing important roles for healthcare facilities of all descriptions, note J. Wickham Zimmerman and Chris Roy. Here's a look at a particularly prominent example of the genre -- complete with a tricky site, an elaborate sculpture and 15 watershapes.
By J. Wickham Zimmerman & Chris Roy

As our business has evolved through the years, more and more often we’ve found ourselves involved in designing, engineering and installing waterfeatures associated with hospitals, medical centers and other healthcare institutions. These projects usually fall under the heading of “wellness gardens” or “healing gardens” – that is, spaces set aside for patients, families and staff to decompress, meditate or simply take a break.

While these watershapes are generally simple in concept, there’s typically more to the way they’re designed and built than meets the eye – a fact that adds an extra layer of

It's a play pad with a difference: While offering ample opportunities for vigorous summer fun, notes Peter Arnold, the area's looping set of spray rings are the visual heart of this Canadian housing development -- even in winter when there are multiple feet of snow on the ground.
It's a play pad with a difference:  While offering ample opportunities for vigorous summer fun, notes Peter Arnold, the area's looping set of spray rings are the visual heart of this Canadian housing development -- even in winter when there are multiple feet of snow on the ground.
By Peter Arnold

It was the perfect confluence of needs and ideas: Mattamy Homes, a Canadian developer based in Toronto, was working on a project in Edmonton, Alberta – a new community called Stillwater that they wanted to elevate with an “amenity center.” This key space, we learned, was meant to promote healthy, active lifestyles by offering residents a play area that would include both a skating rink and a unique splash pad.

As planned, the community was set up with wilderness areas, hiking trails and other opportunities meant to encourage enjoyment of the great outdoors. To capture that spirit in the splash pad and playground, Mattamy Homes enlisted the services of Calgary, Alberta-based Park N Play Design, a designer and installer of custom indoor and outdoor recreation spaces throughout Canada.

The resulting splash-pad design includes a large, custom-fabricated set of spray rings that provides fun for children of all ages while at the same time creating an eye-catching, artistic visual at the heart of

Set deep in the mountains of South Korea, this golf course is a monumental achievement in land contouring and water management. In his concluding article about this enormous undertaking, Ken Alperstein covers what it took to go from compacted rubble to water-laced dreamscape.
Set deep in the mountains of South Korea, this golf course is a monumental achievement in land contouring and water management.  In his concluding article about this enormous undertaking, Ken Alperstein covers what it took to go from compacted rubble to water-laced dreamscape.
By Ken Alperstein

A glance at our portfolio of dozens of golf-course projects dating back to 1990 shows that no two of them are exactly alike – despite the fact that our mission in each case has been exactly the same: It’s our goal with every project to leave behind grassy patches that have seemingly been draped across natural terrain that has been there, untouched and untrammeled, since time immemorial.

In other words, we’ve crafted elevation changes, watercourses, plantings and other defining features so carefully that it seems like folks who enjoy chasing little white, dimpled

Building this golf course wasn't a subtle process, notes Ken Alperstein. As he discusses in the first of a pair of articles on the project, they started by knocking over a South Korean mountain, then, after extensive contouring, began working on two heavily regulated water systems.
Building this golf course wasn't a subtle process, notes Ken Alperstein.  As he discusses in the first of a pair of articles on the project, they started by knocking over a South Korean mountain, then, after extensive contouring, began working on two heavily regulated water systems.
By Ken Alperstein

We’ve participated in the construction of lots of great golf courses through the years, but this one was something special.

It started for us at Pinnacle Design (Palm Desert, Calif.) with a call from one of the world’s top golf-course architects, Ted Robinson, Jr., who let us know that we had to rush to prepare a presentation for a client in South Korea. As he explained the situation, if we couldn’t win over the chairman of the conglomerate that was building the 27-hole course, the job would go to

Through the years, Bruce Zaretsky has designed enough healing gardens that he knows just how comforting they can be for patients, caregivers and loved ones.  But they only work, he notes, when designers keep some basic principles and several user-specific design factors in mind.

 

When Stephen Pevnick flips the switch to animate one of his amazing installations, the ability of water to communicate moves from the abstract to the literal in a hurry. Here's a look at how one of these displays helped a company set the tone for a key inspirational event.
When Stephen Pevnick flips the switch to animate one of his amazing installations, the ability of water to communicate moves from the abstract to the literal in a hurry.  Here's a look at how one of these displays helped a company set the tone for a key inspirational event.
By Stephen Pevnick

From the start, the systems I call “Graphical Waterfalls” have always been about combining art and technology to create something unusual and visually arresting.  

As discussed in a WaterShapes article in August 2007 (click here), it was an idea that began in the first year of my professional teaching career at the University of South Florida in Tampa.  It became an earnest professional pursuit when I asked a professor in the music department if I could borrow some time on his

The hope-challenged hamlet of Wyandanch, N.Y., needed something special to set it on a new path, writes Joseph Serpe, and that’s what he and his working partners provided in the form of a wilderness-themed spray park filled with interactive waterfeatures – and two big trees.
The hope-challenged hamlet of Wyandanch, N.Y., needed something special to set it on a new path, writes Joseph Serpe, and that’s what he and his working partners provided in the form of a wilderness-themed spray park filled with interactive waterfeatures – and two big trees.
By Joseph M. Serpe

When New York’s Long Island comes up in conversation, most people think about the Hamptons, exclusive summer resorts, incredible estates and beaches by the mile.

But that image has a flip side:  For many years, in fact, Wyandanch, a hamlet within the town of Babylon, N.Y., has been a community that has had very little go its way, with poverty-stricken streets, gang activity and not much going on that would make its citizens hopeful about

'ASK THE MASTERS' SHOWCASE

watershapes-extra

resource-directory