Klyde Warren Park’s Nancy Best Fountain

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Since its opening in 2012, Klyde Warren Park in Dallas, Texas has been a popular outdoor central gathering spot for locals and visitors. Privately operated and managed by Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation, the 5.2-acre urban deck park is set over the recessed eight-lane Woodall Rodgers Freeway in downtown Dallas. The iconic destination offers a plethora of activities and attractions for people of all ages, from free fitness classes, a dog park, and educational site tours to holiday celebrations, parties, movies, food trucks—and more.


Stakeholders including the Klyde Warren Park Board were seeking pièce de résistance named for longtime board member and philanthropist Nancy K. Best after she and her husband Randy donated $10 million to an interactive fountain project. The water feature would be the latest addition to this multidimensional venue, contributing a unique layer of beauty and entertainment that would draw in guests from near and far.


After providing he owner with some initial budget information during the design process, OTL worked directly for general contractor McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. to complete construction of an architectural fountain and interactive deck designed by Fluidity Design Consultants that would function as an extension of the park’s interactive fountain experiences. An iconic water feature had always been envisioned for the north end of the park at Pearl Street, and while the deck and park have always extended to this location, a phased approach was taken regarding the water features.

Coordinating very closely with all project stakeholders to facilitate construction of the fountain as efficiently as possible, OTL built the Nancy Best Fountain, a tremendously powerful water feature with a total of 45 (consisting of 106 arrays and 350 rose jets) and three multi-axis robotic nozzles that typically shoot jets of water 55 feet into the air and can shoot as high as 95 feet into the air during occasions and special events. The high-powered air cannons are encircled by custom-fabricated stainless-steel sculptural “trees,” which keep people away from the high-velocity water and provide a vertical art element to the park’s Pearl Street entrance. The fountain is illuminated with 216 programmable color-changing LED lights, creating a variety of sequences and effects to dazzle onlookers.


In addition, OTL followed the designers’ vision by patterning all the fountain’s animated and color-illuminated jets after trees, leaves and flowers, including 14 rose jet arrays each consisting of 25 nozzles, which are woven into a composition in repose. In the fountain’s heart stand three 15-foot-tall abstract, highly polished and sparkling tree sculptures that establish the scene’s monumental scale, superlative quality, and memorable iconography. The design’s specially selected, cross-cultural musical score, over which the dynamic jet action plays, generously provides an all-inclusive invitation to enjoy the park’s new theatrical experiences.

During construction, OTL and the design team overcame numerous challenges, including building a large-scale fountain within an open park in the middle of a busy downtown area and working on an extremely tight deadline to minimize any disruption to the park’s visitors. Also, the pipe routing required careful study to the limited space available and running the pipes in the right sequence to avoid additional crossovers that could necessitate unnecessary elevation changes, potentially leading to the creation of air pockets and traps that could compromise the system’s functionality. To avoid this complication, OTL routed all plumbing through subgrade corridors between the deck park’s box beams; these corridors were planned out prior to the park’s initial opening, long before this version of the fountain was designed.

OTL has been tasked by Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation with maintaining the Nancy Best fountain in addition to other water features at Klyde Warren Park.


The tallest interactive fountain in the world, the next-generation Nancy Best Fountain celebrates the success of Klyde Warren Park. Interpreting an artistic fusion of nature and music in its exquisite design, the spectacular water feature serves as the crowning jewel of this urban green space and provide immersive entertainment that will help drive foot traffic and draw people from miles around to the destination for many years to come.