By Michael Batchelor & Andrey Berezowsky
Challenged to develop a sculpture that would make a strong statement about the commissioning company’s expertise in engineering and motion-control technology, Michael Batchelor and Andrey Bererzowsky of Montreal’s SWON Design delivered a work of subtle beauty to an otherwise stark architectural context. Here’s a close look at the resulting medley of textured glass, sheeting water, gleaming steel and arcing jets, all set within curving ponds.
With residential projects, the importance of understanding the character and focus of the client is widely recognized and appreciated. Although the scales are different and the “clients” may be committees, we’ve discovered that the same is basically true with commercial projects as well.
A case in point is this project, which we completed for Parker Hannifin, the Mayfield, Ohio-based manufacturer of engineering components and a multi-billion-dollar company whose products are found on everything from Space Shuttles to precision industrial machinery. Appropriately, the sculpture we were asked to design was to reflect a highly refined, disciplined sense of beauty.
We at SWON Design were first contacted by an independent marketing consultant, Karen Skunta, who was participating in the company’s effort to re-brand itself – a program that, in part, included
By George Forni
Every so often, a project comes along that evolves as it rolls along, and what starts out as one set of tasks and parameters morphs to become something entirely different before it’s through.
That was certainly the case on this residential-lake project: Located in the hills above Napa Valley, Calif., the job put us in touch with affluent, intelligent, fun-loving clients who had initially contacted us about the straightforward restoration of a dying lake located at the base of a ravine beset with unchecked plant growth and rattlesnakes.
None of that was new to us: We
By Johannes H. Wagner & Eugene R. Bolinger
The site was chosen because the existing water, terrain and natural landscape were a perfect fit: Like no other available space, the design team saw that this setting could be used to symbolize the character of Vietnam’s landscape – wetlands and bogs, water crossings, hills and forests, meadows and plains – and shaped into a memorial to casualties of a war that ended in Southeast Asia nearly three decades ago.
It’s a beautiful and peaceful space, one that now encompasses four acres of land around the perimeter of Duck Pond, a small and scenic body of water nestled in the gently rolling landscape of
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
By Nate Reynolds
When you ask people about transparent building materials, most people immediately think of glass.
Glass is certainly stronger than most people realize, but it has never been an ideal structural material because of its weight, brittleness and structural limitations. With our acrylic products, by contrast, architects and other designers have found a material with which they can create substantial transparent structures that are much lighter and more versatile than those made with glass – and with a structural strength more than double that of concrete.
R-Cast acrylic (as we call it) is indeed an amazing material: Its uses span from the obvious pools, fountains or aquariums to awesome signage and seemingly impossible structures and lighting (to mention a few possibilities). Its combination of optical clarity with safety, strength, flexibility and UV resistance has allowed an increasing numbers of designers across a range of disciplines to embrace the material as never before.
There are several firms that provide acrylic materials to the construction marketplace, with
By Aviram Müller
Certainly one of the world’s most unusual watershaping achievements, ‘Le Reve’ is a Las Vegas-style aquatic production that carries audiences into an amazing dream world of water, light, music and incredible acrobatic skill. To achieve the water effects, former Cirque du Soleil producer Franco Dragone turned to Aviram Müller and Canada’s Kaarajal Design Aquatique – and the result is a marriage of watershaping art and technology unlike any other.
Franco Dragone’s design team first contacted me late in 2003. His company, which organizes groups of design firms to create some of the world’s most elaborate stage productions, was working on a new Las Vegas extravaganza for hotelier Steve Wynn.
Wynn’s properties are famous for their water effects, including the wonderful fountains in front of Bellagio on the Las Vegas Strip. I was told that his then-current project, the Wynn Resort, was to feature similarly spectacular water elements – one of which was to be
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
By Randy Beard
By John Gilbert Luebtow
As a designer and artist, I believe that water and glass walk hand in hand: Both are transparent and translucent. They distort and reflect surrounding colors and forms. And depending upon whom you ask, water and glass are both liquids.
The visual and physical resonance between these two fascinating materials is important to me: I know that their interplay adds
Article: Learn more about the Beijing National Aquatics Center (the “Water Cube”) from Wikipedia. Click here.
Video: Watch a CNN interview with
You really can find opportunities in unexpected places, insists Mehrnoosh, a Los Angeles architect and designer who enjoys making refined aesthetic statements in previously plain suburban environments. To illustrate her point, she takes us to a project in a modest neighborhood to define how simple architectural and landscape elements – and water – can bring elegance and tranquility to otherwise overlooked and underappreciated spaces.
By Eric Herman
In January 2008, southern California’s Orange County Water District unveiled its Groundwater Replenishment System, a treatment and reuse facility dedicated to producing water to resupply the county’s beleaguered groundwater reserves. A year later, Eric Herman toured the facility, getting a behind-the-scenes look at a thought-provoking system that is setting new standards for water treatment, management and use.
While I was preparing our “True Green” issue for publication last summer, a friend invited me to tour the Groundwater Replenishment System, an advanced, 70-million-gallon-per-day water-purification facility located in Fountain Valley, Calif. The invitation to visit this joint project of the Orange County Water District and the Orange County Sanitation District came through