public space

Experiencing the Void
When WaterShapes went all-digital back in July 2011, there was one big story looming in the print-magazine horizon: That summer, as finishing touches were being added to the National September 11 Memorial in Lower Manhattan, we were all set to offer a behind-the-scenes look at the fountain portion of the project in a September issue that never materialized. This missed opportunity with the memorial has been somewhere in
A Recipe for Jambalaya
Truly a large-scale project full of unique technical challenges in an unusual and important civic setting, the renovation of the watershapes at Jambalaya Park in Gonzalez, La., is easily the most unusual project our firm has ever tackled. The park covers seven beautifully wooded acres in an older section of town that's mostly residential but sits directly behind City Hall and several other smaller civic buildings.  It takes its name from the fact that the city is known as the world's "Jambalaya Capital" and annually hosts a week-long festival celebrating the Cajun stew that has become a star in the
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