Located in Salt Lake City, UT, the City Creek Center is a mixed-use development that features a replica of the area’s historic City Creek running through it, complete with 300 live trout, more than 600 trees and hundreds of native plants. In addition, the 23-acre site features numerous fountain experiences constructed of natural stone to enhance the locale, which highlights Utah’s native landscape. The fountains create a focal point for several gathering places throughout the outdoor mall. The project scored 34 LEED points, out of 62, making it a LEED Gold project.
The stone and fabrication was done by Coldspring, located in Cold Spring, MN. “Coldspring worked very closely with the design team to select the proper stone, as well as ensure their designs would be created to match their vision,” said Jason Kron, director of sales for Coldspring. “The design team knew Coldspring’s technology capabilities with modeling software and CNC fabrication would be required to produce the stones’ complex geometries with exact precision. Coldspring has completed a number of projects with WET Design in the past, and WET Design felt confident in Coldspring’s ability to produce complex, quality work on time and in budget.”
For the fountains, the client desired the inclusion of fire and water programmed to music for entertaining City Creek Center patrons. As such, WET Design of Sun Valley, CA, was brought in to design the experience. The project gained LEED points by using 30% less water. WET Design is best known for creating the Bellagio fountains in Las Vegas, NV. The three fountains they created at City Creek were the “Flutter,” “Transcend” and the “Engage.” In addition, fountain consultants CMS Collaborative Inc., of Santa Cruz, CA, designed a series of three rectangular fountains in the mall leading to the Central Plaza. The fountains were designed to complement the large, existing water feature at the nearby LDS Conference Center. “We did a dry set mock-up at Coldspring for Kepco+ to come view,” said Kron. “Coldspring also created the bronze sculpture for the fountain top, which we also created a mock-up for. This was to ensure that the stone fabrication was exact prior to shipping and installation.”
To create the fountains, granite provided the ideal choice for its durability, permanence and ability to reflect the area’s natural landscape. The project used Prairie Brown granite, quarried in Milbank, SD, and Mesabi Black granite, quarried in Babbitt, MN. They were done in Polish, Diamond 100, a semi-rough surface finish and Rub & Sand finishes, a semi-smooth finish. The project required a total of 7,080 square feet of granite. Piece sizes varied per application on the project. Throughout the design phase, Coldspring worked closely with the design team to select the proper stone and to develop the plans necessary for the project’s success. Additionally, Coldspring carefully coordinated with the fountain designers to ensure proper fabrication and to meet project specs.
The fountains required extremely tight measurements and required extreme precision during fabrication and installation of the stone. “Coldspring used a combination of automation and hand craftsmanship to fabricate the total of 176 perfectly positioned holes for waterjets and light fixtures and 49 holes for gas-fueled fire nozzles for the dancing fire and water performance for Transcend,” said Kron. “In the field, stone installer Kepco+ of Salt Lake City painstakingly installed the disc to be level at every point within the thickness of a single piece of paper. This allows for the perfect flow of water to cascade over the entire perimeter evenly and beautifully. Coldspring’s precise stone fabrication eliminated the need for handwork on site.”
The project is a LEED Gold-certified project and the City Creek Center has played a critical role in Salt Lake City’s sustainable design project to revitalize its downtown. The six years of planning, design and construction for City Creek Center have proved well worth the wait.
“The intent of the project was to create a retail environment that authentically reconnects visitors to the beauty and history of City Creek,” said Kron. “There were many man-made materials available and considered for the site, but in the end, the authenticity of the creek was what mattered the most. Natural stone was the obvious choice for the design team and ownership.”
The City Creek Center in Salt Lake City, UT
ARCHITECT: SWA Group, San Francisco, CA
FOUNTAIN CONSULTANT: CMS Collaborative Inc., Santa Cruz, CA
FOUNTAIN DESIGNER: WET Design, Sun Valley, CA
STONE SUPPLIER/QUARRIER: Coldspring, Cold Spring, MN
STONE INSTALLER: Kepco+, Salt Lake City, UT