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An Artistic Fountain Debuts
Decades in the Making

An Artistic Fountain Debuts

At the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California, a new fountain made with black basalt is introduced years after initial planning.

The fountain at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California, was finally unveiled last year after a long wait. According to Tom Yankelitis, principal and vice president of Fluidity Design Consultants Inc. in Los Angeles, California, who designed the water feature, a fountain was master-planned in the 1980s and the infrastructure for it was installed from a proposed pump room to the center median of a vehicle roundabout at the main entrance to the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.

But it wasn't until late-2016/early-2017 that his company was brought in to design and engineer the fountain. Yankelitis says that they had to use the existing pipes and conduits because the clients did not to excavate this late in the game.

Due to the age of the pipes, they ended up acting as sleeves, mainly to run power to submersible pumps hidden in the fountain since even the existing pipes were too small to produce the flow rates needed had pumps ever been installed in the "pump room" that had become a storeroom, which now holds all the controllers, power and a filter pump that is able to operate with smaller pipes sleeved through a few of the existing pipes.

Working with architect Michael Maltzan, the team at Fluidity came up with the concept for the fountain. It included custom designed jets that produce a stout stream that holds together well to provide a sculptural arrangement.

"There was a lot of care taken into how it relates to the Phoenix sculpture hanging in the arch of the Segerstrom faA?ade," relates Yankelitis. "We wanted tall, impressive arches
but not so tall that they compete with the sculpture."

The stone used for the fountain was black basalt, which selected with the help of Stone Source, supplied by NuWa Stone of Santa Ana, California, and quarried in China. NuWa's president and CEO Gracie Morris provided different samples to Stone Source and gave advice on what was appropriate for underwater applications, aesthetically pleasing and cost effective. And it all came together masterfully.

"I was impressed by the stonework - all the vertical cuts are curved pieces that are puzzled together," Yankelitis states. "It is something you really don't see very much as it tends to get valued out of a project. And the quality and uniformity of the color of the stone we were really happy with."

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December 5, 2019, 7:33 am PDT

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