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Prospect & Refuge

about Stephen Epler Hall
by on 2007-01-20 15:41:41

When it comes to encouraging people to view a landscape feature, there's nothing as effective as a place to sit. Whether wall, bench, or table and chairs, sitting simply invites people to view their surroundings.  In artful rainwater design, one intention is to encourage people to view some feature of the stormwater; and the best example we found was a pair of covered benches strategically located to view some true stormwater fun outside Stephen Epler Hall, a dormitory on the urban campus of Portland State University.  In this design the stormwater action is particularly dramatic in rain events: water shoots down a 5-story downspout and out into a rock-filled basin, gushes out a small scupper into a runnel that directs water across the space, then falls into a "biopaddy" (a sunken plant-filled basin). To ensure that people stop and enjoy the stormwater show, two benches are strategically placed to face the stormwater action.  To make the experience even more inviting, the benches sit under a freestanding roof (great for use during the rain), and are backed by a wall to create an effective sense of "prospect and refuge".This design clearly encourages people to experience the artful rainwater story at Epler Hall.



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