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A Tidal Park: terraced basins fill and recede to the pulse of the tide.

Confluences: Flow of the Schuylkill

Schuylkill River Park, Fairmount Park Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2002

Collaboration with Winifred Lutz, artist

Delta Group, Landscape Architects and Engineers


Native stone, asphalt, concrete



Few passersby recall that twice daily, the Schuylkill River undergoes a six-foot tide. This piece draws attention to that forgotten phenomenon by channeling the fluctuating Schuylkill into a terraced basin constructed to highlight water-level changes. River water slowly fills up the stone terraces and then recedes as the tide lowers.

Patterns inscribed into paving stones throughout the site mimic the river’s turbulent hydrology, while storm water drainage from the city is contained in a large sunken copse beneath a spiral platform. A space for gathering and contemplation, this project reveals to park-goers subtle-yet-continual changes in the river’s flow.

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