Hydroscape MD Peter Roberts, suggests television make-over programmes could have more influence on commercial water feature design than some care to admit
Television make-over programmes concentrate largely on
domestic or private dwelling schemes but the requirements are
often similar to those confronted by the professional water
feature designer. The only real difference being possibly one of
Up market residential and commercial developments, hotel and leisure complexes, town centre and mall schemes all, or a good percentage, now include a water feature of some kind within the concept. It could be a simple array of foaming jets, a standard multi-tiered or bowl fountain or something more sophisticated, as a ‘one off’ creation. How many of these projects were actually kick-started by an awareness prompted via television? Perhaps someone somewhere may have the definitive answer but, at the moment, the views expressed here are just based upon ‘gut reaction’. Any watcher of these programmes will see not only widespread use of standard units but also ingenious application of natural materials, not dissimilar to many ‘commercial’ projects. So is there an overlap between the ‘professional’ and ‘domestic’? In the writer’s opinion, most definitely, it’s just down to scale.
A prime example of this overlap is the Peninsula Barracks development in Winchester. Historically home base for a number of Britain’s finest regiments, the barracks have been re-named Peninsula Square and converted into Grade 11 listed apartments. A prominently located bowl fountain now provides an impressive and uninterrupted centrepiece for the pleasure of both residents and visitors alike to which are linked two tributaries leading away to areas of foaming jets, with water then re-circulating back to the main feature. How should this be classified, domestic or commercial? In reality it probably doesn’t matter, as long as the same level of professionalism is applied.
However, there is one area where the makeover programmes fall short. There never seems to be mention of aeration derived from the movement of water and the ecological benefits it provides. Perhaps time doesn’t allow for this depth of detail and that’s a question for another occasion, though it’s highly unlikely to be sufficiently ‘sexy’ for prime time viewing.