2020/1.2, January 22 — Small Considerations, Corporate Teamwork, Helical Sweep and more
Earth, Air, Light and Water
Teaching children about the science associated with the natural elements of earth, air, light and water in an imaginative, fun and engaging way is one of the key missions of modern museums of science.  Conveying those concepts through a landscape, however, is a unique and ambitious goal - one we suggested to the directors of Montshire Museum of Science of Norwich, Vt., as a way of transforming the museum's grounds from ordinary exhibit space into a true laboratory for learning.   During all of the early discussions of types of natural phenomena Montshire wanted us to explore, museum representatives always seemed most excited about those associated with water.  They agreed with us that water exhibits could teach children about wonders as diverse as stream erosion and deposition, the reflection and absorption of light, how the pattern of water currents and flow velocities are affected by the size and shape of the water's container, how the pressure of water increases as its depth increases, and how the air temperature cools as one
Cooling the Flock
Sometimes, it's the unexpected that gives a place its true spirit. That's been very much the case for The First Church of Christ, Scientist, a 1975 addition to Boston's historic Back Bay district.  The site features a campus plan devised by legendary architects I.M. Pei and Peter Walker, with grounds organized around a central reflecting pool flanked by a circular, ceremonial display fountain.  The famed fountain is enclosed by an equally famous bosque of linden trees pleached into lollipop forms.   For Bostonians and visitors alike, this classic design has become part of the urban fabric - and the church's plaza a popular gathering place. Not long after the original work was completed, children from surrounding neighborhoods (the South End, Fenway and the Back Bay) discovered the wonderful play opportunities associated with the 180-nozzle deck-level fountain, especially during the hot summer months. Since 1975, literally thousands of kids with their families in tow have made this space their summer hangout, and now second-generation children are being brought to the fountain by parents who grew up playing in its irresistible jets of water. From the start, however, there was a problem with
Down to the River
In 1921, a flood rolled into Pueblo, Colo., submerging the civic center beneath 11 feet of water and leaving more than 100 people dead.  To prevent the recurrence of such disasters, engineers came to town, diverted the river along a different path and encased it in underground levees several blocks away. Seventy years later, a grand project known locally as HARP – the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk of Pueblo – undertook to restore the historic course of the Arkansas River and make it the centerpiece of a 26-acre downtown park.   HARP re-creates 2,220 linear feet of the historic river in concrete-lined (yet naturalistic) channels.  Nearing completion after ten years, the urban park will include 3,300 linear feet of navigable waterway for use by water taxis and pleasure boats as well as dramatic fountains; more than a mile of promenades and other walkways; a two-acre lake; and an outdoor environmental-education center. It has been a massive undertaking, as befits a project aimed at revitalizing an entire city.  For the watershaping community, the project stands as an example of the truly transforming effect that