The Living Water Garden - CODAworx

The Living Water Garden

Submitted by Elizabeth Damon

Client: Chengdu Government

Location: Chengdu, Sichuan, China

Completion date: 1998

Artwork budget: $2,500,000

Project Team


Margie Ruddick


Elizabeth Damon

Landscape Architect

Margie Ruddick


The Living Water Garden, Chengdu, Sichuan China, is a 5.9-acre public park located on the Fu and Nan Rivers. The projects was built under the Chengdu Fu and Nan Rivers Comprehensive Revitalization Project to rebuild Chendu's infrastructure. The park is designed as a natural wetland water cleaning system and includes an environmental education center, an amphitheater, and interactive water sculptures.


The design of the Living Water Garden was an opportunity to build an entire urban park focused on water revitalization. This park includes walkways through wetlands, stepped areas along the river bank, flow forms that churn and aerate water, and sculpture marking the stages of the natural water cleaning process. These forms allow visitors to experience water, to get close to it, to witness it flowing and feeding the surrounding ecosystem. This park was designed so that at all scales, it could be appreciated as a work of art, ranging from the overall design--the arial view, to sculptures that viewers can touch, sit and play upon, to the smallest creatures of the ecosystem that are nurtured by the design of the wetlands. This sense of wholeness, or integration, is key for the public to experience "living water" and the complexity of the role of water in our lives.


The Living Water Garden was conceptualized by artist Betsy Damon and created with a team of landscape designers and hydraulic engineers.