Zaha Hadid and Hopkins among architects
to design London water fountains


Six British architecture studios including Zaha Hadid Architects, Hopkins Architects and Studio Weave have come up with designs for water fountains for different sites across London.

The six studios, which also included Eric Parry Architects, ADAM Architecture and Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM), were asked to design water dispensing structures for sites in Kensington, Soho and on the South Bank.

Kiosk by Hopkins Architects
This image: Hopkins Architects. Main image: Zaha Hadid

Each fountain incorporates contemporary Turkish ceramics, referencing the Ottoman-inspired marble kiosks that could be found across Turkey during the seventeenth century.

The fountain by Zaha Hadid Architects features a large cantilevered canopy that extends up from the water collection pool.

"Traditional Ottoman fountain kiosks became meeting points, gathering places for a community to connect," said project architect Saffet Kaya Bekiroglu. "With large protective cantilevers, the fountains often include ceramic tiling and our proposal translates these characteristics to contemporary use within a design informed by the continuous loop of the water cycle."

Kiosk by Studio Weave
Studio Weave

Studio Weave's design comprises a series of colourful Watering Poles that can accommodate plants. Studio co-founder Maria Smith explained: "In marking points around the city from which free drinking water can be collected, the Watering Poles also create wayfinding markers and new informal gathering spots for London."

Kiosk sketch by Eric Parry Architects
Eric Parry Architects

Eric Parry Architects proposes a structure that can also host a news stand or drinks vendor, while Hopkins Architects has designed a structure that curves over to form a shelter.

"Our kiosk aims to make the dispensing of water a celebrated urban event which will draw people together and add drama to the public realm in London," said Ken Hood of Hopkins.

Kiosk by AHMM
Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

The design by AHMM is for a dispenser that would source free water from the mains beneath the ground and the fountain by ADAM Architecture is conceived as a mural of patterned tiles.

Kiosk by ADAM Architecture
ADAM Architecture

All six designs will be on show at the Building Centre in London from 21 February to 14 March. The project was organised by the Architects' Journal in partnership with Turkishceramics.

  • nygma2004

    The first is really practical as it provides shelter from the rain. Probably be used more often than enjoying the rain :)

  • DL1119

    “Zaha’s proposal is perfect!”
    – hobo

  • Josh Letherbarrow
  • Ria

    Studio Weave’s proposal is bright, colourful and the plants make a jolly addition. I think it would fit well within the grey urban streets of London. The fountain does not have a large footprint so can be positioned in most places, and is probably relatively low in cost compared to the other designs.

    Zaha’s proposal seems appropriate for its position on the Southbank as it a vast space, the additional shelter + water feature would be appropriate.

    I could imagine Hopkins proposal on exhibition road.

    Eric Parry’s multi-functional fountain is appropriate for parks, I can also image ADAM’s there as well.

    It would be interesting if London did sport different types of water fountains, like Stockholm does with the artwork in their underground stations. They would become an interest for tourists, a mission to visit each architects creation.

    Still, the most practical and suitable design would be Studio Weave.

  • Mikerr

    Why not have a competition to produce a nice elegant, practical design that can be replicated cheaply across the city? Seems like they are going to spend a lot of money for a total of 6 water fountains across a huge city! Why not spend the same money for two or three or four times the number?

    Nothing wrong with art on the street, it should be encouraged, but this needs to have a practical purpose too, and six fountains in London make virtually no difference at all.

  • John Doe

    Studio weave and AHMM… What happened? So dull.