A rill is a narrow and shallow incision into soil resulting from erosion by overland flow that has been focused into a thin thread by soil surface roughness. A rill may also refer to narrow channels of water inset in the pavement of a garden, as a water feature. The precedents come from Persian Gardens and Moorish Spanish Gardens. One of the most historically significant is found at the Alhambra in Granada Spain.  At the Court of the Lions (within the Alhambra) a central fountain links the surrounding buildings through a cruciform pattern of water channels or “rills”.
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More London is a new development on the south bank of the River Thames, immediately south-west of Tower Bridge in London. It includes the City Hall, a sunken amphitheatre called The Scoop, office blocks, shops, restaurants, cafes, and a pedestrianized area containing open-air sculptures and water features, including fountains lit by coloured lights. The Hilton London Tower Bridge hotel opened in September 2006. Set on 13 Acres, it uses water (The Thames, rills and fountains) as the backbone, the design gesture that links it from one end to the other.  
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Beginning at London Bridge Station/Tooley Street a series of simple fountain pools evolve to a rill that runs diagonally (a thousand feet, approx) through the buildings at the center of a pedestrian esplanade to the River Thames with the Tower Bridge as it’s focal point. Before you arrive at the River Thames you are greeted at the Scoop, an open air ampitheatre with at grade fountains. A thoroughly engaging public space.

follow this onsite model--entrance is at bottom, photo tour following bring you to the top of model.

pools of water @ entrance w. rill on left/Tooley street to right

Master planning and design for the area was by Foster + Partners, while the water features (rill, pools and fountains) were developed with Robert Townshend Landscape Architects.

all imagery unless noted otherwise are ©Todd Haiman 2010