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Modern Ponds

Ideas for contemporary pond design

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A small, raised body of water gently spills over into the main pond, which features poured concrete stepping stones. Huettl Landscape Architecture in Walnut Creek, CA.

It seems that modern design is making its way outdoors onto patios, decks and lawns and even into ponds. Modern ponds are all about design and appearance. They are typically characterized by straight lines, right angles and simplistic materials. Most contemporary pond designs are an interconnecting series of squares and rectangles. The layout will depend on how much space is available. Frequently modern ponds are tucked into a corner, making an L-shape especially appropriate.

A modern pond can be built in-ground or above-ground. Above-ground ponds require a retaining wall that will hold the water. In keeping with the modern, simple, clean lines, poured concrete is usually used for pond walls. Typically the concrete is left uncapped to provide a minimalistic appearance.

It's common for contemporary ponds to have multiple levels. A smaller body of water will be raised above the main pond, creating a terraced effect. Water can then gently spill over into the lower pond. Spill overs in modern ponds should be flat and wide, allowing water to flow smoothly and peacefully, rather than creating a loud waterfall effect.

Another common design inclusion in modern ponds is floating stepping stones. These stones look like pavers that have been set on the surface of the water. Usually the square or rectangular steps are aligned to create a linear pathway that leads across the pond. However, they can also be slightly offset if you like.

Modern ponds usually have very dark water, so dark that it is almost black. This can be achieved by finishing the inside of the pond with a dark material. Water plants can be included in a modern pond, but are usually limited in number. This is because the architecture of the pond itself is the focus and too many plants may distract from that.

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