The standard outdoor water fountain is usually designed along classic or familiar lines. It might use tiers of metal or stone down which water flows, it might be made from cast metal and shaped like a person, animal or other recognizable figure. There are also the sculptural fountains that are inspired by different cultures and which might use spheres, pedestals, and figures over which the water runs.
There is now also a trend in contemporary outdoor water fountain styles that can combine many of the classic fountain elements in new and unusual ways too. For example, there are some designs that incorporate stainless steel, stone, and glass in remarkable ways.
Why would people opt for something as odd as an outdoor water fountain based on a modern or contemporary design? If you visit public gardens, it is likely that you will have already encountered all kinds of fountains based on the less conventional designs. For instance, fountains that are actually placed within a body of water and which feature shafts of metal are fairly common. There are also many styles of outdoor water fountain that “steal” the Victorian era concept of the “gazing ball” and use a highly polished sphere of metal atop a steel shaft as the form for the fountain.
The appeal of the modern style fountains is quite simple – they add a new and unusual element that can serve as a bit of a contrast to almost any natural space. In this way they offer both form and function. The artistic or sculptural value of the fountain is significant, but it also features the appealing audible aspect too. You get the gentle sound of the water, and the visual stimulation of the unusual form. This is a very unusual opportunity in any sort of garden space.
It is important to note that any modern or contemporary fountain is still going to need a regular and reliable supply of electricity in order to operate the pump. Because a power cord can be a risk when stretched across a yard or garden, and because it is not all that esthetically pleasing when sticking out from beneath the fountain, the average owner will usually hire an electrician to install a dedicated outlet for their modern fountains. This allows them to retain their very “clean” lines and strong good looks, and reduces the risk of tripping or falling to the minimum levels possible.