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Modern Pond Design

Watch this video to see how a modern pond was designed to add sound and interest to a backyard landscape.

A video transcript featuring Joseph Huettl, Huettl Landscape Architecture

On this project, we also incorporated this water feature that you see here, and we really liked the backdrop of the redwoods and we wanted to create a little sort of nice, shaded, wet environment here, so we added the lawn and the water feature. The water feature just backs up to the slope, so it's sort of a natural situation for a water feature because you could mimic water from a spring that's been tapped coming out of a hill.

Construction and materialsWith this one, we wanted to do something a little bit different than our normal scupper. So we did five brass pipes that we cut at an angle for the spouts. And then also we wanted to be a little more playful with the material, so we broke it up a bit. We have the continuation of the steel-troweled stucco wall on the backdrop, and then the front we covered in a black slate that we cut into long pieces, and in the side we incorporated a cast-in-place concrete wall that we poured in lifts of hand-mixed colors, so you get a layering technique that looks almost like strata that you'd see out in sandstone or something. And then the owners actually brought in this sculptural piece to embellish that wall. The wall was meant to sort of double as a place they could set an element like that, and they found a great element to accompany it.

Accommodating wall movementWhen you incorporate a water feature such as this, you do have to be concerned about where this overall wall might move. So you're going to want to create weak points just outside of the water feature where, if the wall does have to move a crack, it will be outside of the water. On this particular water feature, we incorporated a slate line with the water line where the stucco can stop and the waterproofing. They don't have to meet directly; they have this slate like a tile line.

Water spoutsWhen you do multiple spouts like this, you can't rely on the water pressure to be equalized. So each of these spouts has an individual valve that can be fine-tuned so that you have an equal flow of water coming out of each spout.