Drinking Water Fountain

Location: Clapham Old Town, London

Client: Marks Barfield

Sector: Product Design

Status: Concept

Our brief was to design a free-standing drinking fountain that is:

  • a delight to use
  • simple and unobtrusive
  • suitable for everyone, including wheelchair users, children, pets, wildlife
  • safe and hygenic
  • hardwearing with vandal-proof structure, plumbing and drainage
  • cost-effective to make and maintain
  • capable of lasting 100 years or more

The design is based on a practical, ‘barrier-free’ and user-friendly approach. Developed with drinking water fountain industry experts, the design is straightforward to make and install, and uses a minimum number of parts to keep maintenance simple. All the working parts are built into a serpentine shape that rises from a circular base at an angle of 60 degrees to a height of 915mm above ground. This allows the fountain to be used by people in wheelchairs.

The fountain works by pushing a button on the front of the fountain head. This includes a Braille icon for blind and partially sighted people. Water is delivered from a bubbler head at the top of a central spine that rises along the main body of the fountain. The spine extends over the bubbler head to provide a cover and mouth guard for hygiene protection. Unused water from the bubbler head flows back down either side of the spine into a bowl at ground level for use by pets and wildlife.

Overflow water is directed into the nearest surface, gravel bed, or main drain. Not having an internal drain within the fountain avoids blockages - a problem that commonly makes fountains unusable.