Landscape Architect & Specifier News

JUL 2014

LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.

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68 Landscape Architect and Specifier News up in the entry plaza, then spilling and coursing down the site. The flow of water is sometimes dramatic, and at other times more serene, but always providing the wonder and excitement that moving water brings. At the entry plaza visitors pass through a sculptural gateway and under the arch bearing Rory Meyers' name. Within is a circular amphitheater with curved sloping steps and sculptural shade structures. The centerpiece is a stone paved circular basin from which a series of programmed jets rise and fall rhythmically. The level basin, which can also be flooded with a thin 1⁄4" sheet of water, appears to be the well point or starting point for the garden's water narrative. As visitors move to the beautiful overlook or Belvedere, they see what appears to be the same water, now emerging in thin sheets over a glass roof and spilling dramatically into a basin below. The Belvedere Waterfall is a beautiful thin scrim of water that can be viewed and touched from behind in the grotto below the glass roof. The waterfall is stunning, whether seen from above, in the Belvedere, or from below in the grotto. The water courses down through the Cascades, a series of basins that line the garden's accessible main walkways, bringing visitors to the large open Discovery Plaza. The Cascades basins and weirs, in addition to being exciting water features, also have a sustainable feature. Rather than providing cooling towers to counteract the Dallas heat, the Exploration Center's HVAC system uses the cooling and aerating effects of the water features for a significant cost savings in energy usage. Above The landscape architects conceptualized the water narrative for the visitor as a single source welling up in the entry plaza, and then spilling and coursing down the site. A bluestone circular dry-deck basin in a natural color is centered within the entry plaza. A series of programmed water jets rise and fall within the level basin, which can also be flooded with a 1⁄4" sheet of water. All pavements were specified to be slip-resistant. The colored concentric exposed aggregate around the water feature is recycled glass pebbles ("jelly beans"). The retaining wall is a colored concrete modular wall (hercules Manufacturing). The amphitheatre bench seating is Ipe and fabricated by Facilities Construction service. PhoTo: MKW + AssoCIATes

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