Exterior Worlds
Modern Fountain Design
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Modern Fountain Design

Modern fountains are stark and minimalist in expression.

A few basic geometric shapes constitute the aesthetic foundation of the entire style. Each shape can then be altered into an abstract element with its own unique personality.

It can also be combined with other shapes to create an amalgam symbol representative of abstract thought processes. Such designs go a long way toward establishing zones of interest in a large contemporary outdoor environment. They make the land look alive, not with organic life, but with the very life of thought itself.

The goal is always to strip experience down to the fundamental geometry upon which all reality is built without giving way to the sentimental at any time. Such a stark absolutism appeals to many people who are looking to create a stress free environment for themselves. They find that minimizing emotion helps them release the toxic emotions that accumulate within them over the course of a long, hard day.


Water is an ideal tool for such a release, and, as such, can be used throughout the landscape to create all manner of new perspectives within the yard where refined interests, special activities, and relaxed contemplation can then be explored.

A modern fountain does not have to be a large structure to accomplish this purpose. Some of the most effective designs are relatively diminutive in comparison to larger elements around them. One example would be a cement patio fountain in the center of a contemporary courtyard.

Such a courtyard would be open on one end, with high radial walls surrounding the patio like a vertical semicircle. The fountain itself would sit in the middle of this outdoor room much like an indoor table, with stone benches arranged in a half circle design around it.

This would be an ideal location to entertain business clients in a setting that looks very similar to that of a commercial courtyard. It would also serve as an excellent location to host a group discussion about intellectual or aesthetic topics. Even a private musical performance could be held here, with the fountain as a background accompaniment to violin, flute, or classical guitar.

Another modern fountain design can be based on one or more three-dimensional forms. Columns, obliques, and spheres have long been used in sculpture since ancient times. They have a profound impact on the subconscious mind that we associate with special space.

Creating a fountain in the form of one of these images immediately lends a sense of significance anywhere it is erected. Compounding shapes into an abstract form can give the scene an even greater impact. It challenges the mind, and it increases drama through vertical impact.

Modern fountains like this are ideal for placement in areas where walkways intersect. A three-way intersection, for example, can be created in the very back of the yard, with the rising monument of the fountain pinpointing the convergence.

Lighting this structure at night can be truly magnificent. It will create an irresistible sense of invitation to those attending a nighttime event. Rather than feeling they must restrict their activities only to the area around the pool, they will feel compelled to explore the totality of your yard with the monumental edifice of the modern fountain acting as a guiding force to their footsteps.

This would be one way you could get guests to examine your outdoor art collection without having to draw undo verbal attention to it yourself.

If you live on an estate that consists of several acres of land, you can literally divide up the back yard with modern fountains built in the form of a water wall. In some respects these structures resemble the movement of traditional waterfalls, but they are much more contemporary in nature and feature a sheer vertical drop that creates a curtain of cascading, illuminating water.

This is another ideal place to build a contemporary patio designed to take people away from the stress of reality into a world of light, water, and romantic mystique. Smaller versions of this same water wall design are also used to create focal points for modern gardens. Both stainless steel and glass can be used to build the superstructure, as both are highly reflective and add to the movement and sparkle of water quite nicely.

Creating multiple zones of interest with modern fountain design is an excellent way to create unique states of mind that support all manner of entertainment for you and your guests. It can also allow you to have very carefully developed private spaces just for you.

For more the 20 years Exterior Worlds has specialized in servicing many of Houston’s fine neighborhoods.