Tigard Universal Plaza

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In the heart of Downtown Tigard, Oregon, a central gathering place for the local community has made its debut. Universal Plaza, deemed a showpiece for revitalizing the city’s downtown, features two event lawns, native-plant landscaping, a bike and pedestrian connection, a boardwalk overlooking the wetlands of nearby Fanno Creek, front porch swings, a super-structure canopy, and ample seating. A wealth of programming to pique the interest of all demographic groups is planned, including a farmers’ market, concerts, and year-round food carts as part of the City of Tigard’s new Launch Pod Business Accelerator Program.

According to the City, Universal Plaza was designed with the community through interactive and engaging experiences both onsite and virtually: a place for everyone and a community gathering spot that “celebrates our shared humanity and our one shared planet.”

Within the magnificent new plaza, just steps from Main Street, sits its most-requested element: a unique and artful interactive water feature constructed by OTL that serves as the centerpiece of this exciting new city landmark.


Working with water feature designer Fluidity Design Consultants, project architect Rios, and general contractor P&C Construction, OTL was tasked with building a multi-functional water feature that would appeal to adults and children alike. The fountain will create an element of surprise and delight with a combination of a scrim pool, a mist feature, and choreographed tunnels of arched fountains, all of which can work in conjunction or in isolation.

Completing the project presented our team with several challenges. A layered leaf design comprising three different materials—pre-cast concrete pieces, poured concrete, and granite—necessitated exacting skill, ensuring each layer would fit together precisely. OTL determined that tackling the project from the outside in was the best course of action, first installing the pre-cast pavers on the exterior, continuing with the granite placement, and ending with casting the concrete. This approach enabled the team to shape the angular leaves in granite and then work around them to achieve a polished finish.

Also, working with delicate granite required extreme care in transportation and installation to prevent breakage.

Lastly, the team needed to schedule construction around the rainy and snowy winter Oregon weather, erecting tents to protect workers as well as the project itself from precipitation.

Using our deep expertise in crafting water features with a variety of materials and in a breadth of climates, OTL was able to overcome these obstacles and deliver a centerpiece that exceeded the City of Tigard’s expectations.


Tigard’s first water feature of its kind, Universal Plaza’s new interactive fountain glorifies nature’s many nuanced colors, shapes, and elements. A place for families to play and cool off during the warmer months, the water feature’s built-in lighting transforms it into a bouquet of bright colors when the sun goes down. Once the fountain is dry, the specialty concrete and granite turn the Plaza floor into an exquisite central art piece.

Tigard Universal Plaza’s unique water feature is designed and constructed to be a lasting source of entertainment and beauty that helps draw in local residents and visitors from near and far. The iconic fountain will delight onlookers and add value to this public gathering space for many years to come.

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