From glaciers to mountain streams to ocean waves, water adds power and drama all around the world.
But water's ability to evoke emotion extends beyond natural settings. Man-made water features also draw on the power of water to set the mood. Ponds create a peaceful atmosphere for contemplation. Waterfalls generate soothing background noise or dramatic drops. Fountains bring beauty, class, and a sense of history.
Prime examples of these man-made water features exist around the globe, the perfect prototypes for water features at your home or office. Use the power of water to set the mood where you live or work by emulating these famous water landmarks.
1. Babylon's Hanging Gardens
Supposedly located in modern day Iraq, this wonder of the ancient world used its water features to add drama and to sustain the lush gardens surrounding them. Archaeologists may never uncover this legendary building. Some scholars question whether it ever existed. However, stories suggest that the Hanging Gardens featured man-made waterfalls and pools despite its desert location.
The mythic status of the Hanging Gardens hasn't stopped modern water engineers from imitating it. Many large buildings have gardens and fountains on higher levels. A Zurich-based architecture firm even designed an energy-generating skyscraper-waterfall combination for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, but the project never reached the construction phase.
If your home or office building has an empty rooftop space, you can create your own version of the Hanging Gardens. A project like this requires technical know-how to be structurally safe and easy to maintain. Consult a structural engineer and an experienced landscape architect to get started.
2. Rome's Trevi Fountain
The Trevi Fountain is the most famous fountain in a city full of famous fountains. The Trevi Fountain gains its fame from its immense size—more than 26 m (85 feet) high and 49 m (161 feet) wide—and its beautiful Baroque statues, carved from Carrara marble. The fountain's main figure personifies Oceanus, the god of all water. He stands 5.8 m (16.4 feet) tall in front of the Palazzo Poli.
Visitors to Rome consider the Trevi Fountain a must-visit site. They toss a coin in the fountain to ensure that they'll return to the city. In June 2014, restoration began on the fountain. Project managers anticipate that restoration work will conclude in the fall of 2015. In the meantime, visitors can toss their coins into a small, temporary fountain.
To create your own version of the Trevi Fountain, place a statue or a grouping of statues near an outside wall of your home or office building. You can choose a statue that allows water to flow through it or add a complementary fountain nearby.
3. Monet's Water Lily Pond
Some of French Impressionist painter Claude Monet's most famous works had real-life inspiration in a garden oasis he created. For the last 40 years of his life, Monet dwelled primarily near Giverny, a town 80 km (50 miles) outside Paris. On his property, Monet cultivated gardens based on Japanese prints. His realized vision included a pond filled with water lilies, topped by a quaint bridge.
Monet's picturesque gardens still exist, and they've become a haven for gardeners, painters, and devoted fans of his work. The gardens are open daily from April 1 to November 1. Visitors can even schedule a guided tour around the property.
You need several elements to create your own Monet-inspired garden pond. First, create a shallow pond. Then add your water-topping plants, such as water lilies, lily pads, or other delicate natural elements. You may also want to add a bridge or a small deck. Finally, plant plenty of willowy trees around the pond to make it an enclosed space for painting or relaxing.
4. Fountains of Bellagio in Las Vegas
The Fountains of Bellagio serve as the iconic showpiece of the Bellagio Resort in Las Vegas. They make water the star of the show in its own right—no statues, plants, or other accessories needed.
More than a thousand nozzles rest beneath the surface of the pond. Every 15 or 30 minutes, these nozzles shoot water into the air. The water "dances" while popular songs like Frank Sinatra's "Luck Be a Lady" or Elvis Presley's "Viva Las Vegas" play.
Although they're less than 30 years old, the Fountains of Bellagio are a must-see attraction on the Las Vegas Strip. They even made an appearance in the star-studded 2001 version of "Ocean's 11." They're free to watch, but they likely cost more than 40 million USD to build.
You don't need to win big in Vegas to enjoy your own dancing waters. Instead, work with a fountain designer to create a pond-like fountain with nozzles that shoot water, just like Bellagio's.
Whether you prefer the pomp and power of the Fountains of Bellagio or the storied history of Babylon's Hanging Gardens, you can create a water feature to set the mood in your yard or office. Give it some international flare by emulating these famous water landmarks. When your water feature is ready for the most important feature—the water—fill it up with the help of Alberta Water Services.