I Lobo You has gathered some of the most awe-inspiring—and sometimes record-making—public fountains from around the world, all of which enhance their respective cities and have made their mark with imposing architecture.
Swarovski Fountain (Innsbruck, Austria)
Austrian artist André Heller created this fantastical fountain, which forms the entrance to Swarovski Crystal Worlds. The plant-covered structure, known as the Giant, houses the subterranean Chamber of Wonder, featuring designs and experiences by artists such as Brian Eno and Yayoi Kusama. The imposing architecture in the nearly 56-foot-tall head of the Giant spills into a large pool.
Stravinsky Fountain (Paris)
Sculptor Jean Tinguely and painter Niki de Saint Phalle created the spirited fountain on Paris’s Igor Stravinsky Square. The artistic duo took inspiration from the music of the 20th-century composer, creating 16 abstract and whimsical figures, many painted in vibrant colors, which correspond to compositions such as “The Firebird” and “Death.” The imposing architecture, which opened in 1983, is located near the Centre Pompidou.
Banpo Bridge (Seoul, South Korea)
The Banpo Bridge, which crosses the Han River, is home to the Moonlight Rainbow Fountain. The 3,740-foot fountain—the longest bridge fountain in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records—includes 380 nozzles that spray recycled water into the river below. Ten thousand color-changing LED lights to create a stunning rainbow effect at night.
Even in the age of impressive technological wonders, there’s still nothing quite as majestic as a beautiful fountain. And some of the world’s most beautiful fountains come with imposing architecture, including designs by renowned artists and landscape architects.
The Divers Fountain (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Fountains are often found in malls, but few quite as dramatic as this fountain at the Dubai Mall. Figures of human divers appear to soar through the air in front of a wall of cascading water. The imposing architecture was designed by Singapore-based architecture firm DP Architects.
Crown Fountain (Chicago)
Located in Millenium Park in Chicago, the Crown Fountain is a public art piece by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa. The interactive fountain consists of two 50-foot glass-block towers set in a black granite pool. LEDs screens showcase the faces of 1,000 Chicago residents and the water feature operates from mid-spring to mid-fall.
Tunnel of Surprises (Lima, Peru)
Visitors to Parque de las Reversas in downtown Lima can walk through a 115-foot tunnel composed of arcs of water. The park’s Magic Water Circuit includes 13 fountains which are featured in music, water, and light shows on Tuesdays through Sundays. The park, which opened in 2007, holds the record for the largest fountain complex in the world.
Nine Floating Fountains (Osaka, Japan)
Isamu Noguchi designed these soaring fountains for the 1970 World Expo, the theme of which was Progress and Harmony for Mankind. Noguchi’s plans for the United States pavilion were rejected, but he was offered the opportunity to create something for the reflecting pool designed by architect Kenzō Tange. Working with Shoji Sadao, Noguchi devised nine automated fountains that appear to float above the pool.
Water Boat Fountain (Valencia, Spain)
The Fuente del Barco de Agua, or Water Boat Fountain, in Valencia, Spain, uses streams of water to mimic the features of a sailing vessel. The simple metal frame sprays water, creating the sail and hull of the boat. The imposing architecture is set near Playa de la Malvarrosa and appears to be headed out to sea.
Keller Fountain Park (Portland, Oregon)
Working with the firm Lawrence Halprin and Associates, landscape architect Angela Danadjieva designed Portland’s cascading Forecourt Fountain—later renamed for Ira Keller, the chairman of the Portland Development Commission. The imposing architecture recalls the waterfalls of the Columbia River Gorge and 13,000 gallons of water flow through every minute. It became a local landmark after it was completed in 1970, and the New York Times architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable called the park “one of the most important urban spaces since the Renaissance.”
Vaillancourt Fountain (San Francisco, California)
Set on the Embarcadero Plaza in San Francisco, the Vaillancourt Fountain was completed in 1971 by Quebecois Armand Vaillancourt. The imposing architecture is made of concrete tubes and stands 36 feet tall and 200 feet long. It has been controversial since the beginning—San Francisco Chronicle critic Allan Temko said it looked like it had been “deposited by a giant concrete dog with square intestines”—and it was once spray-painted by U2’s Bono during a free concert.
Champs-Elysées Marcel-Dassault Roundabout Fountains (Paris)
French designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec designed this set of six fountains for Paris’s famous Avenue des Champs-Elysées. Each imposing architecture features three branches that rotate around a central bronze mast. The branches include more than 250 Swarovski crystal elements and are illuminated by LEDs at night. The brothers designed the over-42-foot tall fountains to align with the surrounding trees.
Julie Penrose Fountain (Colorado Springs, Colorado)
Designed by architect David Barber and sculptor Bill Burgess, Continuum, the Julie Penrose Fountain, is set in America the Beautiful Park in Colorado Springs and frames views of Pikes Peak. The four-story steel spiral sprays water from 366 jets as it rotates, and is a popular sport in the summer. The imposing architecture was commissioned by the City of Colorado Springs and was installed in 2007.
Stay with us to discover the imposing architecture!