Merchant Square Water Maze

The centre of commercial London, Merchant Square is a thriving, living place. The Fountain Workshop designed an interactive water feature fitting for such a place.

Only a short walk away from Paddington Station, one of Britain’s busiest railway hubs, is this beautiful area that strikes a perfect balance between modern architecture and the classic image of the canal boats mooring in Paddington Basin. Merchant Square is home to the Water Maze, which seemingly entraps you between its jets. 320 jets form a series of concentric circles which are choreographed to vary in height, from shoulder level to below the pavement, creating the illusion of a maze that is constantly moving and changing.

As the jets mark a path around the space, the ‘entrance’ to the maze shifts, meaning that you are invited to go the through the maze as each new gap in the fountains appears. This reflects the very essence of this feature; that anyone who walks past the Water Maze is instinctively drawn towards it. It invites passersby to go into the Maze and to truly interact with the fountains.

Project Facts

  • Location: Paddington, London
  • Client: European Land
  • Services: Design, build, management
  • Features: Choreographed jets, lights
  • Partners: Mace, Townshend Landscape Architects, and Robin Partington & Partners Architects
  • Photography: Helen Daniels, Adriana Vela Alonso