While London practically hyperventilates with excitement at the news of an impending royal wedding and that ring, a more subtle celebration of royal jewels is taking place in its parks.
As a part of its environmental preservation guidelines “to improve the urban parks experience by supporting infrastructure improvements and beatification efforts”, the Tiffany & Co. Foundation teamed up with The Royal Parks Foundation and devised a competition to find the ultimate drinking fountain. And so impressed were the judges, they announced two winners, meaning more thirst-quenching artistry for everyone.
The joint winners were an all-in-one brass number, Ben Addy’s Trumpet, which will be engineered to emit gurgling noises as punters gulp, and Robin Monotti’s Watering Holes, a slab of granite with holes that dogs, kids and adults can their heads through. This is expected to inspire comedy photos galore as people sip.
Both were chosen from a world-wide entrant of 150 designs because of their unique abilities to combine a design-led combo of art, fun-usability, sturdiness in the face of a thirsty public, ease of maintenance and environmental consideration. It’s hoped that once the fountains are up and running in London’s eight Royal Parks, they can be rolled out across the world to enhance any number of urban and “less-green environments”.
And may I suggest that Auckland’s CDB should be one of these, because while Auckland Council has added drinking fountains to its provision of street amenities agenda, the first new one I spotted, in the new Aotea Square, ain’t no Trumpet or Watering Holes. While it provides mouth and bottle spouts for thirsty city folk, it looks lonely and awkwardly small.
In other fountain news, you may remember the snazzy Arqua Fountain that all too briefly graced downtown Auckland’s Freyberg Square last summer. Well, sadly this gushingly wonderful civil accessory is permanently in the great big folly bin, dripping its last drop as Metrowater became part of Watercare.