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The Future is Now

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WaterShapes LogotypeEric Herman

In the year since we launched this “new magazine for a new era,” many of you have called or written to tell us that you like what we’re doing and that you share the magazine’s fundamental vision: that the future of pools, spas, fountains, streams, ponds, interactive water and all other things we now call “watershapes” is about looking beyond traditional boundaries, design parameters and modes of getting the job done.

“Working outside the box,” as several of you expressed what you are now doing, is all about integrating recreational and decorative water with an entire array of exterior-design elements. That’s something we meant to explore in our pages – but it’s a controlling theme that has emerged far more often and with far greater force and energy than we ever hoped.

In working to define this exterior-design revolution and bring it into a clear, practical focus, WaterShapes has indeed become a forum, a place for thorough discussion of trends, close examination of techniques and detailed celebration of the inventiveness of the watershapers who’ve stepped up to share their work with you.

From the exploration of ancient principles embodied in Japanese gardens to grand and distinctly modern linking of public pool facilities and waterpark features, this revolutionary spirit has reverberated and echoed through everything we’ve done. Whether it’s an elevated discussion of the sound of moving water or a gritty dissection of forming a perfect shell, everything about WaterShapes is dedicated to the pursuit of better: better design, better engineering, better construction.

Our current issue is a case in point:

[ ] In “Making Models Super,” builder Ken Hart reports on a massive project in which his firm installed more than 20 vessels, from a small fountain to a FINA-sanctioned competitive pool, that were components of exterior designs created by three high-end landscape architects for a decidedly upscale set of model homes (click here).

[ ] In “Dancing Waters,” fountain manufacturer Jeff Horvath offers an in-depth look at interactive waterfeatures and why and how public institutions and private facilities are using them to get people wet and to add interest, beauty and excitement to outdoor areas (click here). Along the way, he defines a key design element within reach of countless watershapers.

[ ] In “The Making of a Great Wall,” landscape contractor Bruce Zaretsky discusses the fundamentals of proper design and construction of retaining walls – an indispensable element of countless projects on sloped sites and a feature that deserves the attention of any watershaper interested in integrating form and function (click here).

[ ] Finally, in “Subtle at the Surface,” surface specialist Kirk Chapman expands the palette of interior finishes with thoughtful permutations and combinations of traditional plaster, pebbles, ceramic aggregates, glass beads and colored glass (click here). Even using what’s available, he breaks outside the box in a constant effort to give his clients more of what they want.

Of course, this is only the beginning of great things to come as we expand WaterShapes from 1999’s six issues to 2000’s nine, beginning with four consecutive monthly issues to start the year. To say that everyone involved with the magazine is excited to delve further into this broad spectrum of ideas is an understatement: There’s so very much to cover, and more than ever, we have the sense the future is now.

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