Ripples a.k.a. BIG fish - CODAworx

Ripples a.k.a. BIG fish

Client: City of Johnston

Location: Johnston, IA, United States

Completion date: 2021

Project Team


Joe Feldmann

OPN Architects

Landscape Architect

Denise Hurt


Director of Operations

Jason Eveland

Hansen Company Inc

Place Making

Paula Dierenfeld

Mayor City of Johnston

Metal Fabrication Team

Jim Dawson

Iowa Metal Fabrication


Water, as we know, is vital for all forms of life. It connects people and places and holds different meanings to different cultures. Ripples is inspired by the proximity and significance of Saylorville Lake and the city’s Terra Lake, both popular outdoor recreational destinations which emphasize the role of water in connecting to the community. The largemouth bass is a common lake species that causes distinctive ripples as it swims and slaps its tail fin while leaping to capture its prey. The fish has become a symbol representing the value of the area’s aquatic recreational opportunities and their role in creating fond family memories. This interactive sculpture features kinetic disk scales, color-changing LED, and a spatial experience into the belly of a leaping largemouth bass fish, the new beacon and symbol of the site.


For over 15 years, the city of Johnston, Iowa, did not have a downtown location where community members could gather and delight in fellowship and enjoy communal amenities. An interdisciplinary team comprised of architects, landscape architects, planners, city officials, real-estate developers, community members, and artists came together to create the vision for the Johnston Town Center. The new Johnston Town Center counts today with a large green space called the yard, a new city hall, restaurants, bike trails, and a splash pad that transformed into an ice rink in the winter. Ripples, a.k.a BIG fish, have become the beacon and symbol of this new public space, transforming the dynamics of how the community currently comes together.