Reexamining the fountain: In contemporary urban as well as cultural discussions we see a renaissance of the idea of common space, in german either translated as „Allmende“ or „Gemeinschaft“ depending on a relationship towards (city) space or social structures. This is related to the dipole of the private vs. the public as the two dominant categories of the 20th century. Now in the 21st century we find many ways of being together as part of daily life, be it through social media or through community gardens or similar locally rooted projects.
The excellent quality of water coming from the tap is one of these neglected public goods. While international companies secure access to water as part of their economic models, in western cities this good is mostly distributed freely. In Montreal, water is even delivered free to most residential users.
The Fountain House, with it’s open ground plan, overlapping archways for entering and accessible rooftop offers a space for various kinds of public use. It creates a new centre of attraction, a place to be around, to be in, to discover. This node structures the space and still allows surrounding programmes.