MONTREAL FOUNTAIN HOUSE BY RAUMLABOR

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A German architecture firm rethinks public space with a "living" monument

Once upon a time, water fountains were a central gathering space for entire communities. Socially (and physiologically) speaking, water fountains represented a source of life. For many communities, this is still the case. Fountain House is the modern interpretation of an age-old idea.

Fountain House is not located in an idyllic country location but rather in a busy urban center, Montreal. Designed by the Berlin-based architecture firm Raumlabor, the structure welcomes visitors inside and gives them direct access to free, potable water.

Behind the playfully arched entryway, water drips down in a slow waterfall from the ceiling into a basin on the floor. Visitors are invited to play, listen, watch and drink. The water from the basin is collected and redistributed throughout the structure as a refreshing mist.

A wooden stairway leads to the roof of the structure where visitors can enjoy a 360° view. Additionally, the burlap skin of the structure is a veritable living habitat. Grass, mushrooms and tiny creatures make their home in its quilted surface, reinforcing the Fountain House intended role as a life-source within an entire community.

MONTREAL FOUNTAIN HOUSE BY RAUMLABOR