PECHET and ROBB studio limited

The Watering Garden

Our studio recently completed this water-play plaza for the city of Victoria, in historic Beacon Hill Park.

The centre-piece of the plaza is a gargantuan watering can, 17’ high. Although the fairy tale proportions reference Victoria’s fairy tale persona, the watering can is also a symbol of nurture, which in this case, is nurture of its young citizens. The can is activated by big buttons that trigger a sequence of surprising water events, regulated by a computer within the can. For example, the spout sometimes emits a mist cloud, which makes a rainbow in the sun, yet at other times, it propels a cheeky set of water globs, which target the unsuspecting passerby.

Less predictably, other fissures in the can emit arcs of water jets. The ensuing running, splashing, screaming, and laughing brings a joyful air to the park.

In the wintertime, however, when the water is turned off, the can is a silent meditation on Victoria’s love of gardening.

A poem called INVITATION was specially commissioned for the plaza, written by Victoria’s poet laureate, Carla Funk. The stanzas are sandblasted into a large sheet of granite, just above the gurgling drain of the plaza.

This project was created with the help of PWL Partnership Landscape Architects and Accent Stainless Steel...brew pub manufacturers!

The can is fabricated from bead-blasted stainless steel, and, where possible, the plaza was made from concrete remnants of old Victoria sidewalks. Also, the water from the can is channelled to feed a nearby series of ponds.

Victoria, BC, Canada
2008