All about design of water feature fountains
Waterfalls are elegant fountains with strong decorative power. Their minimalist conception and foil-like effect are suitable for modern spaces, where they provide the great shiny look of water without any splashing or noise. Though they can be installed indoors and outdoors, waterfalls are more likely to be used indoors – they are wonderful in malls, lobbies, hotels and high-class restaurants, among other options. These fountains can be easily combined with other elements such as vertical gardens (so trendy nowadays) or decorative vertical panels. Read More
The ‘waterfall’ concept includes different types of fountains. For example, any cascade with an impeller pump where water falls in a natural way on a series of staggered ponds is a waterfall. Nevertheless, we will limit ourselves to three basic types: waterfalls on flat surfaces, mylar wire water curtains and digital water curtains. Due to its specific configuration, digital water curtains deserve an article of their own with all their features described. As for the first and second type, a summary of their characteristics, operation and installation is included below.
As it happens with practically every fountain, waterfalls benefit from a good lighting. As they are mainly indoor fountains that remain close to the transients, it is relevant that any underwater light used is attractive and discreet: they will probably be on view. The underwater inox LAKE light is a great option: its industrial design fits in well with these kinds of fountains. As for the color, the most common choice is usually white but RGB lighting can also be provided.
They are the most common and best known waterfall fountains. They are also known as water walls and look like a water sheet that slides over a vertical flat surface, usually a transparent glass pane or a ceramic wall. But the options can also include other solutions such as stainless steel, marble or any rigid, even and waterproof material that resists water damage. They are contemporary and elegant, quite appropriate for indoor spaces where quietness is a must. These fountains do not generate splashing or loud noise: the water sheet creates a constant and balanced movement that together with the light reflections and the fountain’s freshness makes up beautiful installations.
As stated before, in this kind of waterfalls the upright walls over which the liquid flows must be completely flat, even and waterproof in order to make flow easy. There is no problem with glass panes, but in ceramic walls horizontal joints can be a disadvantage. In order to minimize them we can use laser-cut rectified porcelain tiles with perfect 90-degree edges. These tiles can be installed with no joints at all, so water will not crash into them or separate from the wall. Regardless water flows on a glass surface or on a ceramic wall, the surface must slope slightly in order to prevent water from separating when falling.
Water walls mount distribution pipes that carry water to the top of the upright wall or pane and let it out through small brass nozzles. The pipe is fed by two side deliveries; when the wall is too wide, a third central nozzle can be added to provide the required flow. In order to get the installation integrated or dissimulated, we can choose visible inox pipes or hide the system behind a skirt made of metal or other good-looking material. This is a very common solution.
The operation of these water curtains is completely different from that of water walls. In this case, the fountains are composed of a series of vertical wires made of a synthetic material named mylar. The wires are flat and remain in a vertical parallel disposition, creating a fine continuous surface. Each wire is connected to a small nozzle located on top of the wall: this nozzle feeds the wires with water that flows into droplets. The droplets slide on the wire until they reach the bottom pond, creating a constant and regular flow. These attractive fountains are very decorative, even when they are not in use.
Every mylar wire water curtain hides an underwater counterweight in the pond, connected to the wires’ lower ends. This piece makes it possible that the wires remain tense and vertical, always creating an aesthetically impeccable surface. The counterweights are partially visible, but as they are made of fine-looking materials such as brass, they remain well embedded in the fountains’ design. The pond usually hides an underwater filter that collects water droplets and prevents splashing.
Just like water walls, mylar wire water curtains mount a pipe with two side deliveries that carry water to the top nozzles connected to the wires. In this case, the water flow is considerably lower than in water walls so there is no need to add side deliveries, not even in big-size installations.
Both waterfalls on flat surfaces and mylar wire water curtains are solutions with the latest technology, perfect to decorate ample, elegant and luxurious spaces. A big classy hotel, the lobby of an innovative office building or any place where modernity is a must will be the perfect spot to enjoy the discreet charm of waterfalls.