Prestigious Office Space Gets Innovative Upgrades

Posted in News -

OTL Water Garden

OTL upgrades Santa Monica office space with an architectural fountain while cutting water usage in half.

The Water Garden has been an iconic commercial landmark since the early nineties. Once touted as Santa Monica’s largest commercial development, the property is an impressive part of the region’s office district.

Recently transformed into a modern workplace, The Water Garden is now easily recognized as a 17-acre oasis comprised of three six-story office buildings and one five-story building surrounding an amenity-filled courtyard including several water features.

Outside the Lines (OTL) worked with landscape architect general contractor Morley Builders and specialty contractors Shaw and Sons, as well as design team members Katherine Spitz Associates, Inc. and water feature designers STO Design Group to replace the existing 54,000 square-foot lake with an 11,000 square-foot river walk with bridges and a dock landing.

Specifically, OTL handled the mechanical, recirculation, water quality and electrical components of four water features, including:

  • the gateway fountain
  • the 470-foot long river feature, which forms a connection between the gateway entry point and the courtyard
  • the courtyard’s focal point boulder fountain
  • the courtyard accent fountain

Sustainability was a primary focus for this project. Through sustainable construction and design, the team was successful in reducing annual water consumption by half, which in turn decreases operating costs for the property owner.

Part of the design included a long, linear urban stream feature, constructed with very little slope to create a slow-moving, meandering water effect. The bottom of the stream (finished with ocean-inspired glass Lithocrete® by Shaw and Sons) was textured to maximize the water’s character at minimal flow rates. This texture, which was identified through a mock-up process, ensures that the stream looks great and the water has visible ripples while allowing the streams to use smaller, more energy-efficient pumps.

Running plumbing between the new water features and the previous lake’s equipment room (which was entirely re-outfitted for the new project) was particularly challenging on this project due to the quantity of non-fountain mechanical and utility systems that were already located in the parking garage. OTL worked closely with Morley Builders and the project’s engineering team to route pipe through the garage, suspended from the ceiling, to ensure that the fountain plumbing did not conflict with other utilities while meeting the fountain plumbing performance specs.

OTL worked closely with the design team to identify and install a lining system that proved successful for the project. Part of OTL’s lining installation scope included successfully converting an existing square PVC liner for reuse in the new round gateway fountain, which offered significant cost savings for the project owners.

The Water Garden earned a LEED Gold-EB certification, and is located at 2425 Olympic Boulevard in Santa Monica, California.