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Water Feature: The Hobbet Property

Over the Christmas break, Darren and I completed our most adventurous and creative project yet, a sculptural water feature for the Hobbet property in Walnut Creek.

The clients are Stacy, a published novelist / journalist, and Randall, a geologist.  They allowed the design parameters to be wide open… they just wanted something great, which any creative knows, that’s a dream project that doesn’t come around very often.  Their only request; that the fountain have multiple focal points of interest from varying locations from within their mostly glass home, and no rocks be used. I guess Randall Hobbet looks at those all day at work. Since it was to sit amongst their outdoor sculpture, our  design was inspired by art museum sculpture garden fountains of the late 60’s, the era of the home.. The unique rounded wedge shape of the space and right angles of the home’s architecture directed  the fountain’s geometry.

We created it using three concrete methods, wet cast (pre-cast in our studio), pour in place (on location), and glass fiber reinforced concrete.  The tile is all hand made and fired in our studio. First, Darren dug and prepared the foundation  placing the plumbing and drainage. We wet cast the heavy, segmented walls at our studio which “keyed” together with flange anchors to the foundation. They fit together beautifully thanks to Darren’s creative engineering. We poured wet concrete inside to create the bottom of the basin locking the walls and lighting in place.  The sculptural center-piece is glass fiber reinforced concrete making it light enough for Darren and I to roll in on a large dolly and lift one end at a time to place it in. (another perfect fit) Once the pump was connected to the 4 slotted water outlets (3 in back, 1 in front), the bottom and sides were locked into place with an epoxy adhesive so that the two reservoirs remain water tight, and divided. The last piece to go in was the concrete “beach”, the sculptural corner stone that houses the pump with an access door on the back side. All exposed joints were sealed with silicone, and the fountain was filled.

The fountain has two separate reservoirs, and water flow from multiple points, for visual activity from any angle. The intake for the pump draws from the front reservoir inside the center piece. The back reservoir fills up and flows into the front  through an outlet on the side.  The number of outlets was chosen to balance the amount flow between the two reservoirs.

We are so thrilled with the end result. Check out the finished product below.