In his travels, Marc has spent time in the Far East where the presence of water is essential in both Chinese and Japanese landscape design. For him the landscape design is not separate from the architecture of the house – they are unified, and inform and play off of one another. The principals of harmony and balance, in yin and yang, water and fire, are apparent in Whipple Russell Architect’s designs.
When water is still and used in a pond or pool, it acts as a mirror, adding dimension to its surroundings. In our Benedict Canyon design (top 3 left), ponds frame the front entry on either side of the walkway, and water appears to flow into another pond inside the house. Note the modern nod to the Japanese garden bridge, crossing the water on stone pads.
For moving water we favor the sheet waterfall, (see left the rough stone from our Hopen house) where the water flows down over a flat surface in a clean smooth ‘sheet’ before falling to a pool or stone bed below. Waterproof LED lighting can be added for nighttime effects. The sound of moving water has a primal calming effect on the mind and body.
Our Laurel Way project (bottom left) is surrounded by a slender blue moat, bringing water views up close to many rooms of the house. Light reflects and plays against the water throughout the day. Water also cools and humidifies the air, often welcome in the warm, dry Southern California climate.
And so all of the water elements brought into a design give the people interacting in those spaces another dimension of light, sound, and color, that compliments the architecture.