Looking to nature for inspiration

Study for Lovejoy Fountain by Lawrence Halprin
Study for Lovejoy Fountain by Lawrence Halprin
Lovejoy Fountain in Portland, Oregon design by Lawrence Halprin









Note: this is a 2005 post I have resurrected.  I tried to update links, but if you find a broken link please let me know. Thank you!

A discussion on Garden Web about water feature trends got me thinking what exactly is it that makes a well designed water feature?

I first learned of Lawrence Halprin in landscape architecture school a very long time ago … I was impressed by the 100’s of sketchbooks he had filled over the years. Of particular interest to me were his sketch studies of waterfalls, creeks, plunge pools, eddies and other water shapes in mountain creeks and rivers … he spent countless hours studying the way water acts naturally so he could design the urban concrete fountains for which he is known. And his sketchbooks inspired me to do some of my own studies as I backpacked around the Washington Cascades, Olympic Mountains and places in Montana.  

Ira Keller Fountain by HalprinSome of my favorite Halprin fountains are Lovejoy Plaza and the Ira Keller Fountain in Portland, Oregon along with Freeway Park in Seattle. In Washington DC, the FDR Memorial waterfalls are well used. You pretty much have to have studied the natural flow of water to make convincing monumental artificial falls like these, also at the FDR Memorial.

Halprin is by no means the only architect/landscape architect or designer noted for beautiful, appropriate and celebrated water features. But he is one who influenced me, influenced the way I design and the way I look to nature for guidance, for ideas, for inspiration.

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