A rather unusual river runs through a promenade that links two vital locations in West Valley City, Utah. On one end: the city’s train and bus station. On the other: city hall and a public plaza featuring a concrete performance stage that doubles as a water feature, thanks to custom weirs built into the steps on one side. Between: a wide swath of grass through which a manmade stream trickles.
Designed by GSBS Architects of Salt Lake City and the Denver office of Stanley Consultants, the urban renewal project transformed a deserted lot with abandoned housing into a much-needed downtown gathering place.
The stream meanders around small, bouldern like islands and flows over concrete that looks like sand. Embedded blue glass sparkles under the water.
To create the sand like texture, Denver-based decorative concrete contractor Colorado Hardscapes used Sandscape, a cast-in-place finish with dozens of color options developed as an alternative to sand-blasting. The contractor removes the surface of the concrete via surface retarders and special mix designs to reveal fine sand. The blue glass was embedded using Lithocrete, a patented process of embedding and fully adhering materials and concrete together in a concrete matrix to produce durable but dramatic concrete paving.