Whether indoors or out, few design elements are as dramatic and arresting as a waterfall or fountain. According to the blog The Bowery Boys, the very first decorative fountain in New York City was the City Hall fountain, unveiled on October 14, 1842 during opening ceremonies for the Croton Aqueduct. The fountain propelled water 50 feet into the air, and was a huge hit.
A Value-Added Proposition
Water features can add beauty and value to a property, both outside and inside the lobby and common areas–and they certainly don't need to be as big as the City Hall geyser to make an impression on residents and visitors alike. They can take the form of gently cascading water walls, koi ponds, fountains or reflecting pools as well.
Whichever water feature is displayed, they require special care and maintenance in order to remain attractive, hygienic and safe.
“A water feature is basically a signature piece or focal point for the building,” says Dan Euser, a landscape architect with Dan Euser Waterarchitecture Inc., in Richmond Hill, Ontario. “Some are an interactive type of water play, while others are just for the pleasant sound or reflective qualities, or even to mask the public sounds. There are so many different ways it’s done or used.”
Manhattan-based AKAM Associates, Inc. manages a number of properties that include indoor and/or outdoor water features, such as moats, ponds, koi ponds, cascade walls, and decorative sculptures. “With the advent of the greening movement, ‘green walls’ have become a popular design element in buildings too,” says Doug Weinstein, AKAM's director of operations.