Zen Modern Water Feature

Posted on March 15, 2018

zen modern water feature night

Zen Modern Water Feature in Ann Arbor

 Winner Michigan Nursery & Landscape Association Merit Award 2017 “Special Projects”

Inspired by a dramatic view overlooking the Huron River in Ann Arbor, and the client’s personal aesthetic (zen-modern), designer Wade Lehmann created a custom bluestone fountain that serves as a focal point in the landscape.  A mix of contemporary lines and rustic materials prevent the Zen Modern Water Feature from feeling too austere for such a natural setting. A stainless steel fountain diffuser nestled between two bluestone columns creates a smooth, even sheet flow of water across the square-cut bluestone fountain spillway.


However, the transparent sheet of water cascading off the edge of the fountain does not impede the view beyond. The diffuser is fed by two water lines encased in stainless steel piping, intentionally visible to match the architecture of the home’s ipe (tropical hardwood) deck, which has a stainless steel cable railing. Visible and audible from the deck above, the fountain contributes to an overall sense of tranquility.


The waterfall pours directly onto the surface water of a custom sunken basin, reducing splashing and generating peaceful white noise instead. From side and surface views the waterfall disappears into the beach pebbles with an almost magical absence of splashing. Mexican beach pebbles line the surface of the basin as it integrates with the surrounding patio and walkway area.


Just behind the fountain is a multi-tiered slab limestone retaining wall that allows the feature to be as close to the edge of patio toward the river as possible. The retaining wall is also home to a small rain garden to accommodate any excess water from the patio and water feature. Clever construction and consideration of all sensory aspects ensure that the fountain complements, not competes with, the serenity of the site and beauty of the river below.


More photos, including Before & During, on our portfolio page!