Set in the centre of London’s premier shopping district, Rathbone Square offers a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of the Oxford Street rush. As you enter the Square, you are greeted by our water features, two overspilling water tables and a series of shallow water channels, which perfectly compliments the hive of activity that the combined residential, office, and shopping experiences create.
When designing the Square, Gustafson Porter + Bowman placed emphasis on the way in which water could be used in tandem with the trees and green spaces that are pivotal to this area. As such, we created water tables that reflect the Square’s trees and plants. The flow of the water as it breaches the edge of the tables gives this space a sense of movement as it distorts the reflections.
The two water tables, at either end of the Square, are visually connected by water channels that lead you through the space. These shallow rills course their way around the space, providing a tranquil pathway through a centre of urban living. The theme of combining water and greenery within the space is further continued here as these rills are set directly into the many flowerbeds that define the Square. The combination of water and vegetation builds on the overall theme of life, bring together the various elements that make up the Rathbone Square area.
The dark stone plinths that form the water tables and hold the flowerbed-inset water rills offer a stark contrast to the deliberately bright paving, brickwork, and grassy areas. This not only draws the eye to these centrepieces but also makes them visible from the busy street outside, drawing people into Rathbone Square.
- Location: Fitzrovia, London
- Client: Great Portland Estates
- Services: Design, build, management
- Features: Water tables, rills
- Partners: Gustafson Porter + Bowman, Make Architects, Maylim, Miller Druck
- Photography: Allan Owen
Initially engaged as design sub-consultants to Gustafson Porter + Bowman, The Fountain Workshop supported the client team throughout the design stages of this project. Sketches, models, and working mock-ups resulted in the Square’s final design, wonderfully constructed by Lend Lease and their specialist contractor, Maylim. We then carried out the water feature specialist works as a sub-contractor to Maylim, working alongside a number of long term partners including stone masons, Miller Druck.
Since Rathbone Square’s completion in 2017, these water features have been maintained and managed by our sister company, The Fountain Workshop (Maintenance) Limited. Our unique web-based monitoring system allows us to control water quality, operation times, and the very fine water flows that are imperative to the success of the features, and the overall effect of the Square.