Fountain Green / Tapis de la Pelouse - 2005

Rubber granules, water pumps, concrete, ca. 40 m2
Invited competition for a fountain, Freiburg Rieselfeld

Fountain Green / Tapis de la Pelouse is a water installation consisting of green paving, water jets and water channels. The flat green surface is made of course rubber granules, a hard-wearing material used to make sports fields, which makes it resemble grass. The surrounding water channels made of pale concrete turn the green surfaces into islands. Irregularly spread over these islands are sunken water jets that create paired fountains of different heights at surprising intervals. The green surfaces are slightly inclined, so that the water from the fountains flows off into the channels, which also have a separate water feed.
Fountain Green / Tapis de la Pelouse is a water installation on which people can walk, sit or lie down: in the summer, it is fun for anyone who enjoys water and especially for children, who can get a surprise soaking. At a safe distance, one can cool one’s feet in one of the jets or just dose on the green surface. In spring and autumn, the installation appears more as an ever-changing water feature.
The two-dimensional character of Fountain Green / Tapis de la Pelouse refers to the flatness of its surroundings. For people crossing Maria-Hilf-Platz, the installation does not constitute a barrier. Even when the installation is not operational, it remains a natural part of the square.
With its motifs of field and channel, Fountain Green / Tapis de la Pelouse refers on the one hand to the history of the area (Rieselfeld is German for ‘sewage farm’) and, more generally, to the practice of irrigation, whose main components are watered fields and channels. In addition, the channels recall the water gullies that are a characteristic feature of Freiburg. In connection with the water jets, however, they can be given an entirely different interpretation: for example as a reference to the fountains in a Baroque garden with green geometrical forms and canals. The opposing poles of sewage farm and ornamental garden generate a contradictory mix of pragmatic and aesthetic motifs, as reflected in the work’s potential uses, in the surface material and, finally, in the title: a usable, artificial landscape for activity and relaxation.
With its zones, fountains and water channels, the installation can be used as a place to spend time and as a place for activities. When the water is switched off, the installation can be walked on, remaining a natural part of its surroundings.

Fountain Green / Tapis de la Pelouse

Fountain Green / Tapis de la Pelouse
Die Installation mit Feldern, Wasserfontänen und Wasserkanälen kann als Aufenthaltsort und als Aktionsort genutzt werden

Fountain Green / Tapis de la Pelouse
Bei eingestelltem Wasserbetrieb kann die Installation begangen werden, sie bleibt selbstverständlicher Teil des Platzes