Project Description

EcoTarium Ice and Water Wall

Worcester, Massachusetts

Michael Singer was commissioned to provide a master plan for the expansion and re-configuration of the New England Science Center now known as the EcoTarium. The mission of the EcoTarium is providing the public with an understanding of the role of ecology and natural systems in our lives. Singer’s designs for the project further this mission by regenerating ecosystems and sculpting spaces that engage a wide range of audiences to experience the campus’ landscape and exhibits. The courtyard garden at the back  of the main Visitors Center building is one of several areas designed and built by Michael Singer Studio within the overall project masterplan.

The existing main exhibition building was modified so that the central sculptural courtyard can be viewed from the main entrance and stairwell. Singer’s Emerging Garden and Water and Ice Wall are the focus of this courtyard. The Water and Ice Wall is fourteen feet high and eighty feet long. In the summer the wall becomes covered in vines and the water’s mist serves as a cooling element and introduces the sound of flowing water into the courtyard garden. In winter the garden and water wall are transformed by the forming and melting of ice that changes its appearance daily. The Emerging Garden utilizes dense plantings to stabilize the sloping soil of the garden as it rises from the ground. The circular outline of the garden’s granite donor bench, as well as the semi circular patterns in the adjacent courtyard paving, reference the circular dome forms of the main exhibition hall ceiling.

This project was featured in an article about Michael Singer’s work, appearing in the New York Times Sunday Arts Section and can be read here.

Artist / Designer: Michael Singer
Singer Studio Design and Fabrication Team: David Loomis,
Karol Kawaky, Daniel Johnson and Craig Maldonado
Architecture Team: Ken Radtkey, Yianni Doulis and
Brook Muller of Blackbird Architects
EcoTarium Director: Laura Myers
EcoTarium Programs and Exhibitions: Dolores Root
Architects of Record: Sasaki Associates
Photography: David Stansbury

EcoTarium Ice and Water Wall