The local Spring Creek Watershed of the Ridge and Valley Region is recreated in a 924 square foot bluestone terrace, punctuated by three long boulder ‘ridges’ that rise from the terrace and create seating walls. All of the local streams, and waterways are depicted with runnels carved 1/4 inch deep into the stone. When it is dry, this terrace is a scale map of the geology and watershed of this area. But when it rains, the Visitors Pavilion roof drains onto the terrace and the rainfall flows across the carved waterways, creating a watershed in miniature.
Ridge and Valley’s design needed to find a constructive use for the rain water that flows off of the Arboretum’s Visitor Pavilion. The artwork makes this storm water into an asset rather than a problem by creating a functional rain conveyance that delivers the rain water from the roof of the visitors pavilion to the infiltration area on the site. Integrating the art into the architecture and the landscape made a space for people and for rain. The art allowed the building to be responsible for “drinking its own rainwater” rather than putting it into a drain. The artwork bridges the built space of the pavilion and the landscaped areas of the arboretum with an outdoor room that teaches people about the waterways running near the very ground they are standing on, and gives visitors a way to find their watershed address in the map of the county.
To create a new way of making storm water educational and delightful, I worked closely with landscape architects OTR and Overland Architects to harness the rainwater from the Pavilion's roof. We explored different ways to pipe the rainwater into the Water Map and convey the overall storm water infiltration system. By guiding the rainwater into certain areas, we were able to integrate the building’s structure into the art itself.
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CODA: Collaboration of Design + Art
The global online community that celebrates design projects featuring commissioned artworks.
[ manifesto ]
Art matters. Attention to the details of our environment leads to love of place, which brings us to take responsibility for the spaces where we live and work. And by extension, the people with whom we live and work. And by extension, to our local communities, our cities, our nations, and our world.
We champion the role of artists in our society. We need artists to provide us with inspiration, creativity, and imagination, and to help us envision a better world.
Architects and designers know that remarkable design can change everything. They connect the dots across disciplines, collaborating with artists to make the world a more beautiful place. They are the ultimate patrons of the arts.
In the process, design professionals promote imagination and creativity, and through their commissions, make original art integral to and accessible in people's lives.
Art in our public and private spaces helps us fight ordinary buildings, ordinary streets, ordinary cities. We celebrate the extraordinary.
The architecture of our buildings and the design of our interiors affect our happiness and well-being. Each of us deserves a daily dose of inspiration.