Located just outside Clemson University’s “Death Valley,” a stadium that witnessed a perfect season last year, is an equally perfect expression of aquatic art. Designed by David Tisherman and built by Atlanta-based builder Chris Jones, the feature consists of a 15-by-13 foot glass tile wall with the school’s iconic logo emblazoned in white marble. Water flows down the face of the wall and into in a 27 by-19 foot wading pool with a zero-to-18 inch depth, designed to invite children and families to play and relax in the feature.

Jones’ involvement began when constructing the school’s indoor pools. When the question of the outdoor fountain was raised, Jones reached out to Tisherman for design guidance. Tisherman recalls a melodramatic project meeting at the university where director of recruiting Thad Turnipseed gave an impassioned presentation of the fountain concept, which Tisherman reports was initially based on far more mundane landscape fountain features.

RELATED: A Fountain that Tells Time

Tisherman intervened to offer a demonstration of his alternative vision for the fountain. After asking the meeting guests to step outside, he showed the group how the red glass tile blend he selected would interact with sunlight. “We filled Pyrex dishes with water and placed beautiful glass tile blends from Lunada Bay Tile in the water,” he says. “When everyone walked around the tile and saw how beautiful and visually dynamic they were, that was when Thad Turnipseed proclaimed, ‘That’s what I want!”

Tisherman and Jones completed the scene with a 6-foot white Thassos marble tiger paw that is mounted proud of the red wall on a system of custom brackets, which allow water to flow behind the paw. “The effect is that the wall is shimmering with the paw floating in front of the wall,” Tisherman explains.

LED uplights at the base of the wall add dramatic shadows of the paw against the shimmering surface at night.

“We’re very proud of it,” Jones says. “It’s a great example of what you can achieve with the right design in such a great setting."

Eric Herman is Senior Editor of AQUA Magazine.