Courtyard Waterfall, Bellevue, WA

Having solved future drainage and stability problems by filling in an old swimming pool the design of this project included a specific sequence of type, shape and size of stones to increase the sense of depth and distance. The stones in the background of the waterfall are darker, more rugged, where as the stones in the foreground are more rounded softer and lighter in color.

One design challenge and opportunity was to create a sense of flow by using several different materials, and elements in a small space. One method of doing this was to sequence the elements with analogous colors and textures. This design technique was applied to flagstones, pigmented concrete, pots and vessels, ends boulders.

The client wanted a Spanish style of masonry with used small stones that expressed a sense of water flow. Here a series of different sizes of Spanish and Mexican black pebbles were painstakingly arranged to fell like the flow of water as they proceed into the pond itself.


Overly large boulders were used, in proportion to the small scale of this courtyard, to convey a sense of stability, and naturalness. These boulders help to create a more natural spillway, while retaining areas of backdrop planting.

A tiny gap between two large rounded boulders created the entrance to stone steps that feels very natural as if these two boulders had been here for centuries.