Adding an outdoor fountain? Talk to a landscape architect!

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Associate | Landscape Architectural Intern

Designing an outdoor fountain to blend with the ecosystem of an urban site is a task best left to an experienced landscape architect.

After all, it’s only a professional with the required expertise in the field who can transform the design into something captivating and iconic. They will know all about the aspects that might be useful while designing a water feature, especially for a densely populated public space.

In this guide, I'll discuss the benefits of adding water amenities to urban sites and reviewing the role landscape architects play in designing and planning water features in such areas. 

So, let’s begin!

Guide to adding an outdoor fountain in landscape architecture

How does an outdoor fountain add to a public space?

There are numerous benefits to adding a water feature to an outdoor space—whether it's to enhance the landscape's appearance or to feel closer to nature. And if you ask me, constructing a water fountain will give you the opportunity of creating a unique space that is functional and visually appealing. 

Most landscape architects globally believe that there’s no other water feature as majestic as a fountain. Some of the world’s most spectacular fountains, such as the Water Boat Fountain in Valencia, Spain, and the Keller Fountain Park in Portland, Oregon, will back me in this regard.

These water structures are the modern masterpieces of some of the most famous landscape architects out there. And they serve as landmarks in the places they’re situated. So, why not add a standout water feature such as these within your next urban project? If you’re still not convinced, check out some of the benefits it has to offer.

1. Visual delight

A water fountain amidst a busy surrounding is a delightful sight to come across every day. Adding it to a public space will prove to be aesthetically appealing. At the same time, it can help provide the “fun” and “welcoming” aspect in the lives of pedestrians moving through the space. 

2. Cooling effect

Designing an outdoor feature with water in mind can help break the monotony of solid structures, such as buildings and high-rises, primarily seen in urban sectors. Apart from that, water, known for its cooling properties, will help create a micro-oasis for people to cool off in the hot sun. 

The water spray released into the air has a significant cooling effect by helping bring down the surrounding area's temperature.

3. Ambient noise reduction

The sound produced by flowing water has a calming effect on the mind and body. Additionally, it helps absorb the ambient noise caused by traffic, pedestrian activity, and buzzing crowds—common in busy urban sites. The design, location and construction of a fountain can be executed in such a way that mindfully masks less desirable noises within the urban environment, making the space a departure from an otherwise hectic and stressful day.

4. A sense of place

Dense urban areas with narrow streets, high-rises, and almost no greenery are common in cities worldwide, failing to provide aspects of interest for tourists and locals alike. But adding a fountain or any other feature to the space can change its overall dynamic. 

Not only will people be excited to explore the surroundings, but it will also provide value and definition to the public site. Long story short, a water feature serves as an attractive force to both visitors and daily commuters. 

Serving as popular landmarks, people prefer gathering, socializing, and clicking photographs around the notable fountains designed by the most talented landscape architects.

Importance of adding a landscape architect to the project

Building a water feature in a public space requires expertise and experience. And to transform the structure to something more iconic like the Crown Fountain in Chicago or the Julie Penrose Fountain in Colorado, it’s important to add a professional landscape architect to the project. 

It’s the design of a structure that makes it remarkable. And a rookie mistake can lead to delays along the way, which every builder would want to avoid, especially while constructing in a busy urban site.

A professional landscape architect understands the factors that require consideration while designing a water feature for a public site. They can use the landscape as a template and inspiration to design an outdoor fountain or any other structure for that matter. After all, the ultimate goal is to develop a feature that blends seamlessly with the surrounding urban space.

In addition, it needs to appeal to pedestrians of all ages and backgrounds while catalyzing the growth of the city’s core. Of course, it’s not that simple, as landscape architects also have to keep functional efficiency and long-term reliability in mind while creating a masterpiece capable of bearing the symbolic load of the urban architectural sector. 

Final words

Fountains can be found as landmarks in most parks and even the residential areas of urban sectors, adding value to the social and economic infrastructure of the area. Advancements in technology mean modern landscape architects are now more innovative in their approach and designs, using advanced technology to include lights and even sound effects.

With proper planning and designing by an experienced professional, the goal of creating a purposefully crafted space for residents, workers, or visitors to engage, relax, and enjoy can be accomplished. 

That’s all I have to say about the role outdoor fountains or water features play in public spaces. And I hope my guide helped provide the needed insight on the topic. 

Feel free to leave a comment if there’s anything more you wish to add!

















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