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Posts Tagged ‘water features’

I like to post photos of warmer seasons while we’re in the depths of winter, to remind us that spring is not very far ahead. Here are a few scenes from a lovely botanical garden on the edge of Salt Lake City, Utah, which I visited last June.

 

Red Butte Garden 1
Allium and falling water

 

Red Butte Garden 2
Four Seasons garden

 

Red Butte Garden 3
Herb garden

 

Red Butte Garden 4
Fragrance garden

 

Red Butte Garden 5
A roof garden with a view
 
Photos by Alice Webb

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LDS center 1

While in search of interesting examples of landscape architecture in Salt Lake City last spring, I came across a building and site with an unusual juxtaposition of formal and naturalistic design. The LDS Conference Center includes two sides that were designed to represent a mountainside, dominated by a series of terraces with coniferous trees. The other two sides of this massive edifice, however, are quite formal in design, with a prominent tower from which a water cascade falls to the street level below. The roof landscape also features this peculiar blending of nature and structure. It’s almost as if vegetation were taking over the building from the east and north sides. Many parts of this design are quite attractive, but I’m not so sure that the scheme works as a whole.

 

LDS center 2
LDS Conference Center (view from south) – The vast and stark hardscapes of the roof and entry plaza contrast with the naturalistic planting design of the roof’s large meadow and trees.

 

LDS center 3
LDS Conference Center (view from northeast), showing the planted terraces

 

LDS center 4   LDS center 5
Formally-designed elements of the building and landscape include a tower with a water cascade that falls down to the street level, and reflecting pools on the roof.

 

LDS center 6
Up on the roof: One in a series of formal water features with a naturalistic landscape beyond

 

LDS center 7
Tower view on the roof

 

LDS center 8
The roof includes an expansive meadow with a view of the distant mountains

 

LDS center 9
Northeast corner of the building with trees on terraces, suggesting a mountainside
 
Aerial images obtained from Google Earth; all other photos by Alice Webb

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During a recent visit to Salt Lake City, I had some time to check out an upscale outdoor mall in the heart of the city. I typically dislike shopping malls, especially the indoor variety, but even many of the newer open-air types are trying too hard to duplicate quaint old urban streets (and failing). City Creek Center’s site, designed by the landscape architecture firm, SWA Group, has a different focus: celebrating a stream that historically ran through the downtown area, most of which is now buried underground. Each of two sections of this mall (divided by a city street) includes a recirculating water feature that represents a creek and flows along the middle of the shopping center’s walkways. The streams also meander in some places and turn to follow perpendicular entrance corridors, terminating with waterfalls at the connecting streets. A variety of fountains (including an interactive ground-level set of jets) can also be found along the pedestrian areas, combining with the creek to provide a pleasant water-centric experience. This is one mall that I actually enjoyed visiting – not to shop, but to hang out with an iced coffee and take in the sights and sounds around me.

 

City Creek Center 1
The streams include numerous footbridges, most of which are made of decorative metal, as shown.

 

City Creek Center 2
Native trout inhabit several areas of the creeks.

 

City Creek Center 3
The recirculating creeks flow along the center of the walkways. Narrow slot drains on each side of the stream catch runoff from rainfall (one of which is visible in this photo). I have wondered how the mall handles snow removal, however.

 

City Creek Center 4
A wider section of creek

 

City Creek Center 5
A fountain accents one of the central intersections of the mall. Water on its opposite side falls in a sheet off the rim, contrasting with the stepped edge on this side.

 

City Creek Center 6
Another interesting fountain at City Creek Center

 

City Creek Center 7
The site design takes advantage of the area’s sloping topography, with a waterfall flowing into the mall from South Temple Street.

 

City Creek Center 8
A recirculating waterfall also flows from the mall to the adjoining street south of the site.

 

City Creek Center 9
Nature-themed fencing and chairs adorn the sidewalks on either side of the street that splits the mall. These areas were designed as part of the project.
 
Photos by Alice Webb

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Wickham Park in Manchester, Connecticut, includes a variety of themed gardens, the newest of which is a ¾-acre sensory garden. It’s a lush and peaceful place, with distinct spaces devoted to each of the senses. These types of gardens are very beneficial for people of all ages and abilities, gently stimulating the senses and serving as an educational tool.

This garden has a large variety of plantings, and is fully wheelchair-accessible. Pergolas and gateways separate each of the spaces – I particularly like those that are covered in vines. Although I might have designed this garden somewhat differently (perhaps with other types of seating and sculptures), I’m glad I had the opportunity to visit it.

 

A - sight garden
The sight garden contains colorful plants and a few with interesting shapes.

 

B - sound garden
The sound garden includes running water, wind chimes, and plants with leaves that tend to rustle in the wind.

 

C - scent garden
Plants with scented foliage and flowers are featured in the smell garden.

 

D - taste garden
A variety of edible plants and plant parts can be found in the taste garden, including vegetables, fruits, and nuts.

 

E - touch garden
Entry to the touch garden – this space features plants with various textures.

 

F - touch garden
Fine and coarse textures in the touch garden

Photos by Alice Webb

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