by Don Barker
In July 2004, Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II officially opened a uniquely landscaped memorial in Hyde Park, West London. The Diana Memorial, a collaboration of Seattle-based landscape architect Kathryn Gustafson and London architect, Neil Porter, is unusual because its design and construction combined groundbreaking CAD/CAM production techniques with the traditional art of stonemasonry.
The "necklace of water" is an oval-shaped fountain made of Cornish granite. It is about 690 feet (210 meters) in circumference, encircling a space about the size of a soccer field. "The design centers around a 'Reach Out/ Let in' concept and concentrates on the positive aspects of Diana's life," says Mary Bowman, associate director with Gustafson-Porter.
Bowman explains that water enters the fountain at the highest point of the site and flows in two directions, east and west, down the hill. "There are various features worked into the plan intended to reflect different aspects of Diana's personality, whether it is turbulent, still, or with gentle twists and turns. The water on both sides ends up in a calm reflecting pool with a bright silver line which threads across the patterned stone."
Designing the Necklace
Design began with a freeform physical model, hand-shaped from clay by Gustafson and Porter. The physical model was digitally scanned to create a 3D file defining the relationship between the fountain and the surrounding landform. Engineering consultant Arup performed this initial modeling work. >>>
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The Diana Memorial in Hyde Park, West London.
Textures in the memorial fountain were the result of a collaboration between designers, engineers, software developers, and computer-aided stonecutters.
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