What can be better than watching water falling endlessly and enjoying the calming sounds? It’s true that nothing can beat a natural waterfall, but sometimes, architecture can rise to the challenge. We take a look at some of the most interesting and eye-catching fountains from around the world.
Metalmorphosis Mirror Fountain, USA
Metalmorphosis is a mirrored water fountain by Czech sculptor David Černý that was constructed at the Whitehall Technology Park in Charlotte, NC. Born in Prague, Czech Republic, artist David Cerny’s incredible 25-foot stainless steel sculpture, Metalmorphosis, was his first permanent public installation in the United States.
The sculpture, which stands 25 feet tall and was fabricated from approximately 14 tons of stainless steel, is in the shape of a human head, with water flowing from its mouth into a large fountain at its base. The structure is made of stainless steel layers that rotate 360 degrees with the help of mechanical engineering and computers. The movement is controlled via the Internet by David himself and can be viewed online via live streaming video at www.metalmorphosis.tv.
Julie Penrose Fountain, USA
Bearing a size of a four-story building, and having a weight of 24 tons, the Julie Penrose Fountain, or simply Continuum, can be easily spotted in downtown Colorado Springs.
The fountain represents the life-giving movement of water between the earth and the atmosphere. Inside the open silver loop there are over 366 water jets and a hidden turntable, that rotates the fountain foundation every fifteen minutes.
Water Boat Fountain, Spain
Located at Playa de la Malvarrosa in Valencia, Spain this fountain is widely known by both locals and tourists as the Water Boat Fountain, or Fuente del Barco de Agua in Spanish. This sculptural fountain creates the illusion of both the hull and the sail of a boat with jets of water.
Divers Fountain, United Arab Emirates
This fountain is located within the Dubai Mall, in Dubai, UAE. It resembles a waterfall and features numerous divers, made of stainless steel, that appear to be diving into the pool at the base of the fountain.
The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc, Spain
The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc is located at the head of Avinguda Maria Cristina in the Montjuïc neighborhood of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.
Built in 1929 for the International Exhibition, this is Barcelona’s biggest ornamental fountain, that offers a spectacular display of music, water acrobatics and lights which generate over 50 kinds of shades and hues.
The Magic Fountain was designed by Carles Buïgas, who had designed illuminated fountains as early as 1922. The site where the fountain was constructed was the previous location of The Four Columns. The columns, representative of the Catalanism movement, were demolished in 1928 and were re-erected in 2010 a few meters away from the original location.
The Performances include film, classical, and modern music, such as The Godfather, The Lord of the Rings, Gladiator, a Spanish zarzuela movement, “Barcelona” by Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé and modern pop songs. Performances take place at half-hour intervals every weekend, with weekends extended during the summer season.
The Fountain of Wealth, Singapore
The Fountain of Wealth is listed by the Guinness Book of Records in 1998 as the largest fountain in the world. It is located in one of Singapore’s largest shopping malls, Suntec City.
There is a special ritual associated with this fountain. During certain periods of the day, the fountain is turned off and visitors are invited to walk around a mini fountain at the centre of the fountain’s base, three times for good luck. At night, the fountain is the setting for laser performances, as well as live song and laser message dedications between 8 pm to 9 pm daily.
Charybdis Vortex Fountain, UK
Named after a mythical creature, Charybdis was created by the water sculptor William Pye in 2000 for the luxury Seaham Hotel and Spa, near Sunderland in Northern England.
The fountain is enclosed in a cylinder of transparent acrylic, which appears to fuse with the water itself, giving the impression of a solid block of liquid rising out of the ground. In the center of the fountain, a large air-core vortex rises and falls every fifteen minutes. Stairs allow visitors to look right into the swirling water.
Charybdis is the name of a siren mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey, who was hit by a thunderbolt from Zeus that transformed her into a whirlpool as harsh punishment for stealing an oxen from Hercules.
The Dubai Fountain
The Dubai Fountain is the world’s largest choreographed fountain system. It is located on the man made Burj Khalifa Lake, at the center of the Downtown Dubai developement in Dubai, UAE.
The fountain was designed by WET Design, a California based company also known for designing the fountains at the Bellagio Hotel Lake in Las Vegas. The giant structure is illuminated by 6600 lights and 50 colored projectors, it is 275 m long and shoots water into the air accompanied by a range of classical to contemporary Arabic and world music. This fountain didn’t come cheap – it was built at a cost of $218 million.