A closer look at the hottest solutions from June
Staff -- Interior Design, 6/1/2004 12:00:00 AM
"Conventional wisdom says that a building for people with mental illness needs to have four uniformed guards in the lobby. That's intimidating," says Judith Johnson, the executive director of Green Door in Washington, D.C. For the new headquarters of the nonprofit, which prepares the mentally ill to work and live independently, Johnson had a better idea: no guards, just carp.
In the lobby of the converted warehouse, Envision Design placed a tiled fish pond fed by a precast-concrete fountain. The structures create a transition between the lower and upper levels of what was once a loading dock; a stair that leads to reception serves as a bridge over the water. Visitors can make a loop via the stairs and a wheelchair ramp opposite, pausing on a plywood bench to watch the fish. "Putting the 'Green' in Green Door," page 156. —L.F.K.
"It was originally going to be yellow," Ten Eyck Landscape Architects principal Christine Ten Eyck says of the fountain she dreamed up for the James Hotel in Scottsdale, Arizona. The 16-foot-tall stucco-covered form slices into a circular pool while engaging the rectilinearity of surrounding buildings, renovated by Deborah Berke & Partners Architects.
Ten Eyck constructed the fountain of concrete block, strengthened by reinforcing rods. Inside, she carved a cavity for the plumbing, including a copper flume down which water slips before cascading into the pool.
Of the present Luis Barragán–inspired color, Ten Eyck explains, "It's about having fun outside." Fun and games were a high priority for restaurateur Stephen Hanson and Equinox Fitness founder Danny Errico, the novice hoteliers who masterminded the James. Next to the fountain pool, observe the lap pool, its bottom tiled with the word play. "Sizzling in Scottsdale," page 194. —K.H.
The Spa Treatment
High in Italy's southern Tyrol, architect Matteo Thun's Vigilius Mountain Resort has a strong connection to nature. Perhaps this is most apparent in the resort's three-level spa, where a 65-foot-long infinity pool and a 14-square-foot whirlpool face west toward the Dolomites.
The whirlpool is filled by simple gooseneck spouts. "They allow the water to circulate at regular intervals," says Thun. The spouts also create soothing sounds for guests relaxing on the chaise longues lining the quartzite pool surround.
During the summer months, guests can connect even better with nature: Thun built a 1,500-square-foot larch deck right outside. "Ahead of the Curve," page 146. —E.C.