E A U create Evolution.Arch.Urbanismstrategy and designNew York

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Project

Fountain with no Water

© Zhe Jin. All rights reserved


Water was soul to the site, reminiscent of a time being that never comes back. 

It’s a “watery city", although the original delicate network of canals has gone by a wind of high-tech industrial urban competition. In a decade, a town becomes a city; water farms become green gentrification. People miss what they’ve lost.

The site is one of those industrial campuses, segregated by empty green space and linear plantation as territory lines. The emotionless, bold cutting lines of landscape embody an ideology, being cut off from the past.  Longing for reminiscent of the past becomes an emotional search for familiarity and security in an unpredictable, ever-changing world. People look back and look for water feature to fill in the gap of buildings and the emptiness of the past.

The entrepreneur wanted a fountain at the border of his site, fronting the other segregated industrial campus.

I asked him if he liked Carl Bohm’s “The fountain”. 

"As a kid, when my piano teacher told me about it and how the performance could be, I was attached to it at once". I said, “ In the eyes of a seven-years-old, my teacher is elegant, strong, with soft voice. “ I continued, “She graduated from National Conservatory of music in the 1940s. Since 1957, she had left her favorite fountain garden, her favorite river, her hometown, and never returned, like your father.”

There's an image echoing in my mind: She made the music visible and I could see such a fountain in her childhood garden, secretly being revealed and alive with her bluish memory of her hometown. She said to me, “search deeply for one perception in another.” “ They always connect each other at some point, which channels to heart.” She inspired me to be aware of the surroundings, especially in chaos, and use perception to create the new order. 

“May we leave the melancholy of missing part in the past? And move on to create something new, something that evolves from current situation, something that echoes your perception of the past in a different way.” I chatted and he understood. There's resonance.

A land sculpture is drawn on edge of the industrial campus. Rhythm of water flows in visual sense. The order of fountain’s melody and its visual variety compose an open end. It welcomes constant changing surroundings to be part of the site’s evolution. It is an open language to the segregated industrial campuses.

In many refined cultures, transition exists between public and private space, such as Palladio's Portico and Kisho Kurokawa's “Rikyu grey”. It used to be embraced by traditional literati garden that connects habitance with nature. A good example is the veranda implemented along Canglang Pavilion House, reaching its view and accessibility to the surrounding stream.

Transition space has inherited subtle meaning of connecting, reaching, resolving, which is alternative to segregation. If given contemporary will and expression, it can be a dialogue between different social functions, classes, cultures, values and religions, which leads a view toward differences without indifference to each other. It’s also a point “Fountain with no water” trying to say to the world.




E A U create Evolution.Arch.Urbanismstrategy and designNew York

©All rights reserved