Dancing Water and Architecture
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Dancing Water and Architecture

Fountains and water features are considered as important elements in the designs of architects, landscape architects and urban designers. Beside its role as a decorative sculptural element, fountains create a pleasing atmosphere to the surrounding environment by using water in many different forms, including still, moving, or dancing.

Throughout history, fountains and water features are considered as important elements in the designs of architects, landscape architects and urban designers. Beside its role as a decorative sculptural element, fountains create a pleasing atmosphere to the surrounding environment by using water in many different forms, including still, moving, or dancing. In fact, water features plays an essential role in integrating buildings to their context as well as creating visual attraction to the viewers. Usually, architects and artists are responsible of and concerned with creating appropriate water features that enhance the physical appearance of their buildings.

            Image credit   The Archibald Fountain – 1932, Sydney, Australia

The concept of using water features as an artistic expression to the architectural projects is not new or contemporary invention, but it has historical precedents worldwide. There are many distinctive historical examples, whose design concepts played an important role as an inspiration to contemporary architects and artists and helped them in accentuating their artistic creations. One of the most expressive examples of water features is the fountain of the Trafalgar Square. It was built in 1845 and was designed by the prominent British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944). Although the fountain creates a visual interest to the passers-by, the main intention of constructing it was to occupy the vast space of the square. The fountain was provided by steam engine to pump the water out of it, and later it was replaced with a new and modern water pump, which can push the water as high as 24 meter. Now the fountain is an important part that complements the whole image of the square.

      Image credit  Fountain of the Trafalgar Square (1845) London, by Edwin Lutyens

Another remarkable historical example is the Fountains of St. Peter's Square, designed by the Swiss architect Carlo Maderno (1556–1629) in 1614. The primary role of this fountain was to compliment the generous Baroque façade of the St. Peter's Basilica as well as anchor the building to its site harmoniously.

    Image credit  Fountains of St. Peter's Square by Carlo Maderno (1614) and Bernini (1677)

The use of fountains in architecture never declined, but continued to the present day. There are many successful examples that emphasize the importance of fountains to contemporary architecture. The fountain of the Grand Arch, La Defense in Paris, France is an outstanding example which strengthened the relationship between the building and its site as well as created a dynamic view with its moving water.

Image credit  Fountain of the Grand Arch, La Defense in Paris, France

In recent days, fountain designs moved and progressed from moving and lighted water to dancing water, which creates a pleasant atmosphere to the place. One of the most famous dancing water-show in the world is the fountain of Burj Khalifa. This fountain, which represents the focal point of the area, is located in a large irregular-shape lake nearby the Burj Khalifa (known as Dubai Tower), the tallest building in the world. The site of the tower consists of a vast area of waterscape, a cultural square, gardens, restaurants, hotels and tourist paths. There, one can taste the real Arab culture, in a new modernized dress as well as enjoy the truly attractive views and the impressive water-musical show. In fact, the water show is complementary to the image of the tower and gives a true life to the place. The fountain is provided with the most advanced lighting system and software music which creates a visual interest to the people. 

                            Image credit  Fountain of Burj Khalifa, Dubai

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Comments (23)

Absolutely beautiful, love the look and sounds of living waters. Beautiful article, as well.

Beautiful job. Quite exciting!

Ranked #11 in Architecture

What a great entry on designs, beautiful piece!

Thank you everyone for your kind and supportive comments.Appreciate

Ranked #1 in Architecture

Excellent discussion of important structures. I've been examining Baroque fountains in Rome recently.

Thank you Michael for your appreciated comment. Yes fountains are reall important structures which besides its physical role, they also express social, cultural, economical and even political factor. Wish you all the success in your research about Baroque fountains.

Wow! I enjoyed reading and watching those scenes. Glad to read your article. Thanks.

Some splendid examples to be viewed here... but my favourite is the Trevi Fountain, Rome. It's exquisite and there's nothing quite like it! Great work.

Thank you everyone for your kind and supportive comments

Fountains are so beautiful and the water is so soothing. Thanks for the well done article.

Thanks Cynthia for your appreciated comment

water is one of the 5 basic elements that form the many substances on earth. it surely is a must to make any design of architecture complete and picturesque. excellent article typical of yours!

Nice article on architecture from a professional

Thanks Dr. Manura for your kind comment.Appreciate

I always enjoy reading your articles. They are always so interesting. Voted up.

Thanks very much Caryn for your appreciated comment

So interesting and very well written too. Great pictures.! Your pictures make the article come to life. Very well done! Thanks for sharing Voted up

Thank you Donata for your kind comment.appreciate

Great article, and your film fits in beautifully

Thanks Bridget for your kind comment and I am glad you liked the article...appreciate

I love that you called it "dancing water" and I really would like to see the water musical show. You inspire me to travel to all the wonderful places you write about.

Some beautiful designs, I like what water can add to a setting.

Thanks kimberley for your kind comment

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