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Modern Water Fountains


When developing a modern landscaping design to support a contemporary-style home, Exterior Worlds relies heavily on geometry to develop abstract themes in our design work.  Our intention is to represent a world of that consists of basic shapes that have been combined and morphed into new patterns and forms.  The water fountains we construct in these landscapes must support the intention of contemporary design, whose sharp separation from nature demands a greater emphasis on geometry, linearity, and angular movements rather than décor and ornamentation.  

Modern water fountains most typically are built as either forms or structures distinguished by sharp angles that reflect the stark eclecticism of modern home design and suggest altered realities that are generated intrinsically within the human mind.  The most important thing to take into account when constructing modern water fountains is their absolute necessity to contemporary landscapes.  They must never be built as secondary features to any modern setting.  Instead, modern fountains are central keynotes to any contemporary front or back yard.  Normally, they are built in a direct line of sight with the home front entrance, and thus work to introduce the geometry and proportions of home architecture. 

In back yards, we often see patios literally built around them, with the water appearing to rise directly from the concrete, limestone, or stonework.  Modern landscapers deliberately build these fountains either into the hardscape or adjacent to it.  Sometimes they are also built on the sides of walls in the framing area between the patio and the garden, being sure to keep the structure and water closer noticeably disconnected from the organic elements of the design. 

It may seem strange to many people that modern landscapers would deliberately separate water from gardens and trees and make it instead a central feature of hardscape design.  In order to better understand this intention, we have to take a step back and consider the very nature of modern design itself.  Unlike other design styles that rely heavily on materials and patterns found directly in nature, modern landscaping design deliberately seeks a departure from natural forms and boundaries and works to establish new patterns and multiple dimensions that appear stark, abstract, or outright shocking to the casual viewer.  

This is done to shock awareness into a realization of the complexities of human consciousness and the often jumbled emotional states that lie buried deep within the mind underneath the surface levels of perception.  Water has always been a symbol for the spiritual, unconscious emotional quality of mind, so it makes both practical and aesthetic sense for the modern landscape architect to integrate this symbol into a new design dedicated to an exploration of consciousness itself. 

For these reasons, building water fountains separate and apart from gardens and vegetation better promotes the ideal of individuation.  What was once a universal symbol of boundless, free-flowing essence now appears contained and controlled in man-made geometric designs and complex structures of abstract forms. 

Not only is this theme strengthened by the position of the fountain, but also by the material from which it is built.  Exterior Worlds normally selects a material whose texture is exceptionally smooth and deviates from the traditional appearance of stone.  Water fountains built from these materials will either appear very shiny, translucent, or dull, depending on what we feel most appropriately compliments the surrounding landscape. 

Lighting is an absolute must, both within the water fountain itself and around its exterior.  This allows it to remain visible throughout the night, and it further punctuates the significance of the structure as the most visible element on the property other than the home itself.

This article was published on Thursday 09 July, 2009.

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Houston, Texas 77080-7239

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