Palm Springs, CA
The water sculpture is cut into existing sinuous pebble faced concrete walls retaining the base of undulating hills in a quiet residential neighborhood to the south west of Palm Springs. The new water sculpture performs the required retaining function and echoes the stepping profile of the existing retaining walls, however its crisp rectilinear geometry, terrazzo surface finish and earth toned hue stand in counterpoint.
The water sculpture is the focal point of a long axial view that is revealed upon entry to the secluded outdoor entertainment areas of the house. The asymmetrical stepping form of the sculpture sets up a cross axis and introduces diagonal movement, with each step shifting to the right as it steps down, finally reaching a platform that breaks through the low stucco wall and projects onto the adjacent dining patio.
The steps forming the sculpture consist of a planter at each end, separated by a long rectangular basin. The water in each basin flows over a weir to the basin below until it reaches a raised platform, which functions as a reflecting pool with an “infinity” edge, allowing a curtain of water to drop into a trough below patio level. The movement of the water creates a serene visual and aural ambience perfectly attuned to relaxed dining. After sunset, the illuminated stepping form is mirrored in the adjacent swimming pool, enhancing its dramatic effect.