Does anyone remember one of these fountains in Freyberg Place, downtown Auckland last summer? I do, or at least I think I do. One minute it was there, the next gone. And because it was so difficult to find proof of its existence on the interweb, I thought it could’ve been an illusion – a betrayal of my acutely aware urban sprite.
Luckily, after one bureaucratic phone call too many, I discovered that it wasn’t a hastily pulled council folly, but a trial by Metrowater to see if Kiwis would take to such a gushingly confident example of “civil accessory”.
Currently bursting out all over suburban Australia, this “sculptural drink fountain that is as functional as it is beautiful” is a far cry from the gum-clad, smeared-with-who-knows-what dribble machine you find in most schoolyards.
The design, by Street Furniture Australia, uses push button technology to release water “from [a] spout [which] externally streams down a curvilinear blade into a flush mounted sump” – presumably you’ve got to get your mouth involved somewhere. The blade also acts as a litter and blockage preventer, which ticks all the ‘clean streets ’s thriving city’ boxes.
Futuristic and wow! enough to flummox even the most hardened of vandals, the Arqua Fountain could be to urban socialisation what the water cooler is to office comradery, only with a more gushingly impressive design standard. Hopefully Metrowater’s trial will prove positive and we’ll be seeing more of the Arqua Fountain, especially the blue-lit version.