Exterior Worlds
Water Fountains
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Custom Fountain Design

Custom fountains are meant to fulfill a special role landscaping design. They are built in accordance with a landscaping plan that sets the tone and theme of the entire property, and they play a major role in contributing to the overall look and feel of garden design. Each and every fountain must ultimately stand alone as an individual work of art that extends its aesthetic into its surroundings to the extent that it represents both an experience and a state of mind.

One of the most exciting things we have always enjoyed about custom fountain design is the sheer satisfaction of creating a truly functional and dynamic work of art. Fountains are vehicles of ever-changing form, contributing both sound and motion to an otherwise static landscape. During the day, a fountain adds tranquility to the landscape by offering a sanctuary removed from the busy, stressful world beyond the gate. Many people often begin their day listening to the subtle nuances of how the water falls, drips, and splashes back into itself. They find that such a moment of contemplation helps them better center their thoughts before setting off to work, and it helps them carry with them as they go a sense of peace and uncertainty in a troubled and uncertain world. After dark, special lights can magnify ornament and sound into a magical display of illuminated liquid form. This can be done in any number of ways, with special emphasis being placed only on the water itself, or with illumination spread evenly over the structure and focused upward as the water follows its path upward into the night. Such a sight allows the mind to unwind from the stress of the day, and to venture into an altered, better reality before drifting off into dreams.


When considered from these perspectives, custom fountain design is in many ways a special recreation of certain archetypal forms (stone, water, and light) reshaped into a highly personal artistic element that simultaneously responds to a number of considerations. To begin with, as with all landscaping architecture, it is paramount to carefully design basic physical structure of the fountain so as to compliment home architecture, hardscape design, and outdoor rooms. We must also work to ensure that the geometric patterns innate within the structure also reflect to a reasonable extend the surrounding terrain, garden design, and other water features. There is a great deal to think about, indeed, when it comes time to make these very complex and challenging decisions. Will a custom fountain we build work best as a linear trough, a multi-tiered design, or a highly-abstract piece built into an avant garde or highly contemporary landscape? Should the water rise up or gently cascade down? Should we mimic a natural form like a waterfall, or should we emphasize human artistry? Should the fountain we design work as part of another structure, such as a pond or custom swimming pool? What type of lighting should be used, and should we emphasize only the water or the entirety of the fountain? Should we add an adjustable feature that will allow the height of the water of the intensity of the lighting to be changed at will?

The answers to most of these questions are going to be answered at least in part by client preference, need, and desire. It is our policy to respect the requests of residents and provide them with an end result that truly exceeds their expectations. It is also our duty to make sure that fulfilling these expectations is done in keeping with sound professional landscaping principles. While many may claim that custom fountain design is only a simple matter of building a shell with a decorative bottom and coping, it is much more complex in reality. Masking the sound of the pump is often the first challenge that do-it-yourselfers and amateur designers normally run into like a veritable brick wall. Managing debris that falls into the fountain is another challenge that few know how to effectively meet. Pumps and filters have to be carefully designed not only to run silently, but to be protected as much as possible from foreign elements that can and do find their way into the water.

Professional landscapers know how to address all of the concerns we have considered today, and they know how to shroud the mechanical and the functional behind the aesthetic and the ambient. While the investment one makes in custom fountain design is admittedly higher than the cost of a premade unit, the return on investment one receives through superior longevity, more robust functionality, and a more multi-dimensional aesthetic represent both tangibles and intangibles that nothing short of the best can ever hope to provide.

Exterior Worlds, in business since 1987, provides fountain design and construction services for residences, commercial buildings and retail centers. Call us at 713-827-2255 to request a consultation or estimate.