Why Public Spaces Need Water Features

Posted in Insights -

While the demand for water features has grown exponentially in commercial real estate settings, public spaces are also increasingly incorporating these amenities.

Water features have become so popular in public spaces because they provide a host of advantages for community stakeholders and businesses. In addition to their aesthetic benefits to the area, fountains promote creative placemaking and attract visitors, which has been shown to boost their length of stay and monetary spend in and around the places where water features are located.

For many years, OTL has been involved in designing, building, and maintaining water features in public spaces and has seen these projects dramatically improve the environments in which they are installed in a variety of ways.

Water features help create gathering places.

Because it can soothe, de-stress, and delight like nothing else, people are drawn to water in a very visceral way. This makes sense because we were immersed in water in the womb, and being near water evokes a sense of protection and safety that was a part of us before we were even aware of it.

As a result, individuals and groups love gathering around water features in public spaces almost instinctively. Whether to eat or drink, read, have conversations and connect, or simply enjoy the lovely sights, sounds and sensations the installations provide, locals and visitors continually flock to these projects.

Water features also offer public places for people to escape from the mundane and reenergize during the day as well as experience scintillating special effects at night. Projects like our Illuvia fountain at EpicCentral in Grand Prairie, Texas, draw up to 30,000 people each week to gather around and view the fountain’s amazing displays.

Simply put, the gathering spaces created by water features in public spaces attract human beings again and again, often bringing additional revenue to nearby businesses.

They serve as a form of public art.

Water features can be so aesthetically pleasing that they are often considered forms of public art, making them ideal additions to public spaces.

OTL has worked on a variety of water features that serve as public art installations over the years. Projects like the unique public art sculptural water feature our team installed at Trinity Mills Station, a mixed-use development in Dallas, Texas, add value to their surroundings, fulfilling human beings’ need for art in their environment. They also help municipalities satisfy mandates to include public art in their design as a means of beautifying cities and towns for years to come.

As cities compete to bring people back to urban environments once more, water features are increasingly appearing on city planners’ short list as types of public art that will distinguish those markets from others around the country.

They deliver immersive experiences.

Stakeholders in public spaces are increasingly recognizing that nothing induces a sense of awe and wonder quite like a well-designed, -constructed, and -maintained show fountain. These amenities deliver one-of-a-kind immersive experiences that captivate audiences and keep them coming back for more.

The second water feature our team recently designed and constructed at Mountain View Village, a lifestyle destination in Riverton, Utah, is an excellent example of this type of experience. The choreographed show fountain, which complements a stunning eagle fountain we completed at the site in 2018, features spectacular jets of water that light up with color at night and dazzle onlookers. We also recently activated our new proprietary AI system, Aquarius Interactive™, at the project, enabling people to guide the fountain’s movements with the wave of a hand.

By providing real-life experiences people cannot get from behind a screen, today’s water features turn public spaces into modern-day playgrounds for people of all ages to enjoy.

Public spaces are calling out for water features as a must-have element. By helping to create public gathering places, serving as forms of public art, and delivering unique immersive experiences, water features add an indispensable attraction to public spaces with benefits that keep on giving.