Public drinking fountains could be making a comeback

Posted at 10:15 am, February 20, 2014 in News, Outdoor London
Hopkins Architects' Kiosk design

Thirsty? You won’t be for long as the Kiosk Design Challenge plans to bring drinking fountains back to the streets of London, providing the city with some great looking structures and attempting to cut down on the 13 billion plastic water bottles sold in the UK every year.

In a throwback to 1859, when public fountains saw a boom after people realised diseases could travel via water, the challenge has been taken up by six London architectural practices to relaunch the drinking fountain. Back in the late nineteenth century there were over 800 fountains across London, but in a city that champions antibacterial hand gel, slurping out of one of the old moss-filled relics probably isn’t the most attractive prospect these days.

Organised by Rory Olcayto of the Architects’ Journal and sponsored by the Turkish Ceramics trade body, the designers were able to choose between spots in Soho, Exhibition Road or the South Bank as possible sites and all designs had to include ceramics. Olcayto hopes that the challenge and its results will pique the interest of Mayor, who so far hasn’t lived up to his promise of replacing plastic drinking bottles with drinking fountains.

Have a look at the proposed designs below: 

ADAM Architecture's Kiosk design Eric Parry Architects' Kiosk design Studio Weave's Kiosk design Zaha Hadid Architects' Kiosk design AHMM's Kiosk design

All six proposals will be exhibited at The Building Centre from February 20 until March 14. Here are our top five existing drinking fountains.

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