Did You Know How Technical Designs of Water Fountains Became Known?

a_436__24554.jpg Instrumental to the development of scientific technology were the published papers and illustrated publications of the day. They were also the principal means of transmitting useful hydraulic information and fountain design suggestions throughout Europe. In the later part of the 1500's, a French water fountain designer (whose name has been lost) was the internationally distinguished hydraulics pioneer. His competence in making gardens and grottoes with integrated and ingenious water attributes began in Italy and with commissions in Brussels, London and Germany. He penned a book titled “The Principles of Moving Forces” towards the conclusion of his lifetime while in France which turned into the essential tome on hydraulic technology and engineering. Replacing vital hydraulic findings of classical antiquity, the book also explains modern hydraulic technologies. Prominent among these works were those of Archimedes, the creator of the water screw, a mechanized way of transferring water. An ornamental water fountain with sunlight heating the liquid in two containers concealed in a adjacent area was presented in one illustration. Activating the water fountain is hot liquid which expands and rises to seal up the conduits. Yard ponds as well as pumps, water wheels, and water feature designs are included in the publication.

Modern Garden Decoration: Fountains and their Beginnings

A fountain, an incredible piece of engineering, not only supplies drinking water as it pours into a basin, it can also propel water high into the air for an extraordinary effect.

Originally, fountains only served a practical purpose. Inhabitants of cities, townships and small towns utilized them as a source of drinking water and a place to wash up, which meant that fountains needed to be linked to nearby aqueduct or spring. Used until the nineteenth century, in order for fountains to flow or shoot up into the air, their source of water such as reservoirs or aqueducts, had to be higher than the water fountain in order to benefit from the power of gravity. Artists thought of fountains as wonderful additions to a living space, however, the fountains also served to supply clean water and celebrate the artist responsible for building it. The main components used by the Romans to build their fountains were bronze or stone masks, mostly depicting animals or heroes. During the Middle Ages, Muslim and Moorish garden designers included fountains in their designs to mimic the gardens of paradise. The fountains seen in the Gardens of Versailles were supposed to show the power over nature held by King Louis XIV of France. Seventeen and 18 century Popes sought to exalt their positions by adding beautiful baroque-style fountains at the point where restored Roman aqueducts arrived into the city.

Since indoor plumbing became the standard of the day for clean, drinking water, by the end of the 19th century urban fountains were no longer needed for this purpose and they became purely ornamental. The creation of unique water effects and the recycling of water were 2 things made possible by replacing gravity with mechanical pumps.

Modern-day fountains function mostly as decoration for community spaces, to honor individuals or events, and compliment entertainment and recreational events.

Chatsworth Gardens: The "Revelation" Water Fountain

Created by popular British sculptor Angela Conner, "Revelation" is the newest addition to the Chatsworth decorative garden water fountains. In 2004/2005 she was commissioned by the late 11th Duke of Devonshire to create a limited edition bust of Queen Elizabeth, in brass and steel, for the Queen’s 80th birthday bash. Jack Pond, one of Chatsworth’s most venerable ponds, had “Revelation” placed in 1999. The four large steel flower petals close and open with the circulation of water, alternatively concealing and showing a gold colored globe at the sculpture’s heart. Standing five meters high and five meters wide, the globe was crafted from metal and then painted with gold dust. This latest water fountain is an interesting addition to the Gardens at Chatsworth because the petals’ movement is entirely driven by water.

The Reason for Fountains in Japanese Landscapes

You will rarely see a Japanese garden that does not have a water feature. Since Japanese water fountains are seen as emblematic of physical and spiritual cleansing, they are often positioned at the entrance of buildings or shrines.

Since water is supposed to be the central point of a fountain, you will notice that the designs are kept very straightforward.

Bamboo is a popular material to use for spouts and therefore often integrated into water fountains. The bamboo spout is positioned over the basin, typically constructed of natural rocks, and water trickles out. People typically make them appear weathered and worn, even when they are new. People want their fountain to appear as natural as possible, so they put plants, flowers, and stones around the fountain. To the owner of the fountain, it obviously is more than just attractive decoration.

If you want to get a bit more creative, try a stone fountain enhanced with live bamboo and other natural elements placed on a bed of gravel. After some years it starts to really blend into the surrounding nature as moss grows over the stone.

If you are lucky enough to have a big piece of open land you can create a water feature that is much more elaborate. Consider adding a lovely final touch like a pond filled with koi or a tiny stream.

Water, however, does not have to be used in a Japanese fountain. Good alternatives include stones, gravel, or sand to symbolize water. In addition, flat rocks can be laid out close enough together to give the impression of a rippling brook.

Where are the World’s Tallest Water Features?

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia has the highest continuously- running water fountain known as the King Fahd Fountain (1985). Reaching incredible heights above the Red Sea, this fountain jets water 260 meters (853 feet) in the sky.

Reaching water levels of 202 meters (663 feet), the World Cup Fountain in the Han-Gang River in Seoul, Korea (2002), is recognized as the 2nd highest worldwide.

Occupying third place is the Gateway Geyser (1995), situated close to the Mississippi River in St. Louis, Missouri. It rockets water 192 meters (630 feet) into the air and is currently the tallest fountain in the USA.

Next is Port Fountain (2006) in Karachi, Pakistan, where the water jets 190 meters (620 feet) high.

Number 4 is Water at Fountain Park (1970) situated in Fountain Hills, Arizona - it can reach up to 171 meters (561 feet) when all three pumps are working, even though it typically only hits up to 91 meters (300 feet).

The Dubai Fountain made its first appearance in 2009 close to the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa. It dances to pre-recorded music every half hour and propels water to the height of 73 meters (240 feet) - it also has extreme shooters which reach 150 meters (490 feet), though these are only used on special occasions.

Constructed in 1970, the Captain James Cook Memorial Jet in Canberra, Australia, comes in at #7 shooting water up to 147 meters (482 feet).

And at #8, we have the the Jet d'eau, in Geneva (1951), measuring 140 meters (460 feet).


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