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ABOUT US

The Site Development Studios, Inc. was formed in January 1994 by William A. Ackerman and Michael Wieters to continue the development of the field of naturalistic water features and rockworks which they had begun while principals and partner with another firm.

As early as 1985, Mr. Ackerman began to examine those qualities of natural rock formations and stream systems that communicated time and motion, qualities that are the essence of natural, evolving geology. Prior to this work, the industry had been concentrating on constructing displays of water and rockwork which could best be described as theatrical "sets," pictures frozen in time, sometimes constructed with little relevance to the site, little mystery, detail or concern for what was communicated to the viewer.

In 1988, Mr. Ackerman asked landscape architect Michael Wieters to join him to manage the construction of projects, so that theories and ideas now formulated could be implemented and that their goals of creating art in the landscape might be realized. Utilizing methods of modeling the project and controlling the work accurately through sculptural maquettes taught by Santa Fe artist Greg La Chapelle, and molding, casting and materials learned from early leaders in the field such as Julian George and Frank Manwarren, designs were developed and projects implemented that could now be considered art, rockworks and water features that were constructed in artful detail to communicate specific messages or feeling through their forms, colors, textures and their dynamics of motion. Landmark projects such as the Dove Canyon Country Club clubhouse waterfall and the Kinojo Club baths were built at that time.

The formation of The Site Development Studios, Inc. is a natural progression of growth and development of our goals and ideas. Our philosophy of bringing to bear the best resources to solve any particular project/problem is unique in the industry. The founding of the company by trained design professionals (architects and landscape architects) was a first. The qualification of the firm as an A classification, general engineering contractor is uncommon in the industry. And, the use of many different construction techniques or systems as opposed to utilizing a single method or product, a principle around which many competitors are formed, provide The Site Development Studios, Inc. with the flexibility to provide the most appropriate, highest quality product for most projects.

The Site Development Studios, Inc. is a service-based organization working with designers and owners to provide complete projects in place whether they are architectural fountains, swimming pools, streams, lakes or large-scale rock formations utilizing natural and/or cast rock. Services include the design development tasks of bringing a designer's concepts to life through the detail and technical design phases including sculpting, providing hydraulic design and structural design services; construction of mock-ups; construction services as required for the fountains, rockwork and water elements, swimming pools and spas, zoo exhibits, water parks, and botanic gardens, and the management of our work and the coordination of others.

The Site Development Studios, Inc. staff includes individuals with professional design licenses, contractor's A and B licenses, and skilled labor and artisans. The current number of employees is approximately 50. Virtually all employees are multi-skilled, enabling them to operate excavating equipment or weld and the next day plumb a pump station or shotcrete a retaining wall. Craftsman/artisans involved in the assembling of rock formations and placement of stones have many years of experience in this work and are adept at translating the maquette into a full-scale constructed project.

The Site Development Studios, Inc. recognizes the level of complexity and quality expectations inherent in projects such as this and feel that our experience in working with clients, artists and architects such as Mr. Jud Fine, Mr. R.D. Hubbard, Mr. W. Garett Carlson, the Office of Tom Fazio, Mr. Steven Ellberg, Mr. Frank Pritt and Mr. David Rice prepare us for such commissions.

For additional information regarding our qualifications,
please review our Projects and References

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