I have a thing for fountains. Not the fancy, ornate sculptures you toss coins into or position amongst an unreasonable amount of concrete lawn ornaments. My fountains are the installations that are engineering feats in themselves. If I had a choice I would have fountains surrounding my house… my house would be a fountain, and I would sleep in a fountain. Seriously, I like fountains. If they’re flowing with chocolate, even better. These fountains don’t flow with chocolate, you can’t live in them, but they are beautiful feats of creative fountain engineering in their own right.

The Wrong Garden

Ready for this? It’s a fountain inspired by MC Escher’s Waterfall. What does it do? Provides a continuous flow of water flowing uphill, or so it seems. First shown nearly a decade ago for the Royal Horticultural Society’s 2003 Chelsea Flower Show at the beautiful Chelsea Showgarden in London, The Wrong Garden is James Dyson’s feat of engineering brilliance and impossibility. How does it happen?

Covering the ramp is a glass surface. Water is pumped in at the bottom, and comes out of the opening at the top. At the opening, some of the water is diverted back down the ramp, covering the glass in a thin layer of water. Compressed air is also pumped in where the water enters – bubbles then travel up the ramp to the opening. These bubbles, combined with the thin layer of water going downhill, are what create the illusion that the surface of the ramp is not just a glass lid.

Roppongi Hills

Roppongi Hills is an urban center in Minato, Tokyo, Japan. One of the water features on the property that was created by Fluidity Design Consultants uses the same concept of transparent glass to give the effect of water flowing up. The installation is beautiful and effect stunning, even in the low-res video below.

YouTube video

Roppongi Hills Image: Willstotler
Wrong Garden Image: Zeddy1200


Josh is founder and editor at SolidSmack.com, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.