celebrate the water

photos by John Swain Photography

One of my favorite parts of working with people on their homes is seeing their innovative ideas come to life. This rainchain on a home we designed (and built with modular construction) is a perfect example. These homeowners have a lovely sensibility combining beautiful simplicity with a zen-like connection to the landscape, intertwining architecture and landscape so they become one.

They worked with Fu-Tung Cheng to create concrete elements inside and outside the house. There is the concrete island/table in the kitchen as well as concrete planters outside. In addition, the clients incorporated rain chains to take the rainwater from the roof and direct it down to the reflecting pools and planters, thus conserving water by not using fresh drinking water for irrigation, but rather functionally using rain water. Not only does this help reduce storm water run-off (which is increasingly becoming a problem in many jurisdictions), but is also visually celebrates the water beautifully. This move takes something that is typically seen as a problem or a challenge and makes it into an opportunity for nature as art.


Click the image above to download the Green It Yourself (GIY) guide to making your own rain chain: a beautiful tool for effectively managing rainwater runoff in your yard.

water conservation

The home design depicted in this photo was designed by Michelle Kaufmann in 2008, however is not owned by, and is not available for purchase from, Michelle Kaufmann.

2 Responses to “celebrate the water”

  1. I am interested in buying rain chains wholesale for our co-op market (Weaver’s Way Coop )in Philadelphia. I am the floral/plant buyer and think they would be a big hit. Thank you for you help, leads and resources.
    Ginger Arthur

  2. Britt Clark says:

    We saw your video about this on YouTube, your instructions were great! We’re thinking about adding a rain chain to the front of our home, but we don’t have a downspout hole–the gutter just ends and drops off. Our ground has been eroding from the force of the water. So, we want to prevent any major problems. Do we need to add a downspout or can we secure it a different way, and drape it off the edge of the gutter?

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