Shaping Relationships
An Interview with  Paul Fischman by Andrew Kaner Through the years, we at Aquatic Consultants (Miami, Fla.) have formed bonds with several architects and landscape architects whose efforts we support with plans and details for the aquatic systems they're including in their projects. In that capacity, we have worked with Paul Fischman with some frequency. He's a partner at Choeff Levy Fischman, a Miami-based architecture firm, and in the past eight years we have seen our relationship grow to a point where we now consider
Upgraded Spa Air Blowers from Hayward
Hayward Pool Products (Elizabeth, NJ) has launched an improved spa blower. Designed to deliver quiet…
The Trouble with Liners
'As modern building materials have been developed,' wrote Japanese garden specialist Douglas M. Roth in October 2003, 'we humans have been remarkably proficient at applying them in ways that go well beyond the vision of their inventors.  Such is the case with roofing membranes, which now are widely used as liners for backyard streams and ponds.   'It's understandable that landscape designers and contractors have taken to these rubber liners.  After all, they make pond and stream construction inexpensive and easy.  But from the perspective of the Japanese gardener or quality watershaper, convenience and affordability alone do not
Shall We Dance?
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
2018/6.1, June 6 — All-Tile Exactitude, Overseas Logistics, Concrete Fact-Check and more
Simple Mastery
When I wrote about Lawrence Halprin's Keller Fountain in Portland, Ore., in August 2012, I had meant to cover its Portland cousin, the Lovejoy Fountain, within a few months that have now turned into several years. Apologies for failing to double back sooner, because they really do fit together better than this span of time would suggest. Lovejoy Plaza was the first completed installation in what is now known as the Portland Open Space Sequence, which includes four separate urban environments linked by promenades in a span covering eight blocks. Physically, Lovejoy Plaza is the second of the four spaces in the chain, which starts with the Source Fountain, moves past the Lovejoy Fountain, rolls through Pettygrove Park and ends up at the Keller Fountain. Halprin was a pioneering advocate for this sequenced, themed approach to arranging urban spaces, and the fact that he became involved in Portland at a time of 1960s-style urban redevelopment gave him the opportunity to exercise his philosophy on a grand scale - and, more important, with a relatively clean slate. The Lovejoy Fountain is a beautiful example of Halprin's aquatic work - varied elevations, expressive materials, dramatic contours, vigorous flows, wonderful sound. He's a master of mood management, in this case surrounding the fountain's rougher edges with plants and trees that soften its visual features and make the plaza more inviting. He's also a master of the art of engagement, providing all sorts of ways for passersby to get up close to the water and interact with it on multiple levels (this despite the fact that there are signs warning against coming in contact with it). In this case as with several of his other designs, the Lovejoy Fountain is also a brilliant performance space - no surprise given Halprin's frequent collaborations with his wife, Anna, an accomplished performer who certainly encouraged him to look at public spaces as stages for dancers, backdrops for musicians and places for playful movement around the water. (One of the videos linked below put the fountain's artistic flexibility on brilliant display.) The four spaces were designed between 1963 and 1970, with Lovejoy Plaza completed first, in 1966. Satoru Nishita served as partner-in-charge for the project after becoming a principal at Lawrence Halprin + Associates in 1964. I like everything about this fountain, from its approachability to its reflection of nature and its debt to terrain I know well from my own time spent exploring the Columbia River Valley and the Sierra Nevada and Cascade ranges. It's manifestly a composed, artificial space, but it operates on a level where, like a great abstract painting, it gives observers the chance to run free with their own interpretations and responses. If you can't tell by now, I'm a big fan of Mr. Halprin's work. The next time you're in the Great Northwest, spend an afternoon in downtown Portland and I think you'll see why. To see an odd 360-degree video of the Lovejoy Fountain, click here and be sure to use the effect. It takes a while to get down to business, but it's worth the wait. To see a video in which Lovejoy Fountain host an interactive art project, click here.
Color Clashes
If you don't prepare your clients for what will almost certainly happen to the appearance of this flashy form of decking and coping, writes Paolo Benedetti, you can find yourself facing unpleasant consequences -- from encounters with peevish homeowners to meetings with their attorney.    
2017/9.1, September 6 — Tri-Level Precision, Choosing Koi, Defect Avoidance and more
A Fuller Experience
I'd hazard the guess that most experienced pool designers and builders have run into this scenario:  The clients want a pool, and they also want a spa - but not just any spa will do. Through the years, these clients have been in the attached spas of friends' inground concrete pools, but this is not what they want.  That's because they've also experienced portable spas and prefer their performance:  superior jet action, diverse seating arrays and options, more features and
2017/2.1, February 8 — Mosaic Artistry, Pond-Size Wisdom, Plaster Pigments and more