While the elaborate redesign of Sandy Springs’ namesake spring has been delayed by permitting issues, a final design is on paper and has some differences from an earlier concept.

An early idea for the water to literally spring upward is gone. But the design still involves seeing the flowing springwater, which will be lit from below and reflected on the mirrored ceiling of a canopy, according to Lane Duncan, one of the architects on the project.

Architect Lane Duncan explaining the early conceptual design for the spring at a February 2017 meeting. (File/John Ruch)

“It won’t shoot up above the ground,” Duncan said of the spring, but it will be visible and emit “low-key gurgling sounds.”

The historic spring on Heritage Green, a park between Blue Stone Road and Sandy Springs Circle, became the focal point of the future city in the mid-1800s. The spring is currently hidden under a metal grate and a wooden pavilion. The new design, commissioned by Heritage Sandy Springs, is intended to better highlight the spring and redesign the surrounding lawn area, which is popular for weddings and other event rentals.

Lane and Linda Duncan were the architects who won a competition to redesign the spring. The final design retains the basic concepts of exposing the water beneath an abstract-style canopy with an irregular roof, surrounded by plantings of native species and partly enclosed with a low stone wall.

Instead of springing up as a fountain, the springwater will flow constantly over a sloped stone surface thanks to a hidden pump, Lane Duncan said. That will give it an audible effect, too. The spring will be surrounded by a stainless steel railing and mesh.

The water will be lit from below with LED lights, which will reflect off a mirrored ceiling on the canopy. The canopy will be made of light-colored, durable wood — probably cypress or fir — and will have a roof of silver-gray steel shingles that will look like “leaves on a tree or feathers on a bird,” Duncan said.

The design uses decorative LED lighting on the plantings and the stone wall as well, Duncan said.

Heritage intended to start construction this winter, but officials say that complex permitting for altering a stream will delay that at least until late 2018. Heritage has raised about half of the project’s $350,000 budget, all privately funded, officials have said.

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.