Water Features We Love

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The term "water feature" seems almost lame compared to the possibilities it entails—from the cooling effects of evaporating water to the serene dripping noise of a foundation, H20 is can be as diversely used as any solid material.

Modern home with Outdoor, Small Patio, Porch, Deck, Pavers Patio, Porch, Deck, Stone Patio, Porch, Deck, and Back Yard. Höweler + Yoon squeezed high-design landscape elements, like a fountain and built-in seating, into a small 15-by-13-foot space. Photo  of Water Features We LoveView Photos

In Arlington, Virginia, architecture firm Höweler + Yoon contends with spatial and budgetary constraints to carve a microcourtyard, complete with Japanese maples and a cascading concrete fountain, in just 200 square feet. They squeezed high-design landscape elements, like a fountain and built-in seating, into a small 15-by-13-foot space.

Modern home with Outdoor. Meejin and her parents selected plants—water hyacinth to float in the water. Metal channels guide water from tier to tier. Photo  of Water Features We LoveView Photos

The architect and her parents selected plants—water hyacinth to float in the water. Metal channels guide water from tier to tier.

A contractor drilled holes in a boulder, creating a fountain that he placed in the backyard outside the master bedroom, where the sound of water lulls the Kreadens to sleep. Photo  of Water Features We Love modern homeView Photos

Landscape designer Bernard Trainor masterminded this seamless garden to surround a Silicon Valley Eichler. A contractor drilled holes in this boulder, creating a fountain that he placed in the backyard outside the master bedroom, where the sound of water lulls the residents to sleep.

The DeBartolos wanted to keep the desert tradition of incorporating water near the entrance of the house as a sort of welcome mat, but they skipped the faux hacienda 

fountain found throughout Arizona in favor of twin sheets of four-by-eight-foot steel plates that water pours over. Making the unusual fountain from standard-sized materials, which will weather naturally over the years, kept the cost down, too. Photo  of Water Features We Love modern homeView Photos

For men of the cloth, architecture has always been one earthly delight they've been encouraged to indulge. In Arizona, DeBartolo Architects continues the tradition in a rather unorthodox manner for this Jesuit campus. The DeBartolos wanted to keep the desert tradition of incorporating water near the entrance of the house as a sort of welcome mat, but they skipped the faux hacienda fountain found throughout Arizona in favor of twin sheets of four-by-eight-foot steel plates that water pours over. Making the unusual fountain from standard-sized materials, which will weather naturally over the years, kept the cost down, too.

Modern home with Outdoor, Garden, Hardscapes, and Walkways. The home's exterior, composed of concrete and glass, welcomes guests with a traditional water fountain in the entryway. Photo by: Bill Timmerman Photo  of Water Features We LoveView Photos

To pave the way for their modernist intentions, DeBartolo Architects gave their Jesuit clients copies of Tadao Ando’s The Colours of Light and John Pawson’s Minimum as Christmas gifts. The architects were surprised when the priests started quoting the books back to them, and copies of both still sit out on a coffee table.

Modern home with Outdoor, Small Pools, Tubs, Shower, Concrete Pools, Tubs, Shower, and Front Yard. The red door was De Azevedo's idea, says Phil Kean, president of the Phil Kean Design Group. It adds a spash of color to the front courtyard, which is simply landscaped with gravel and low-maintenance plants. A water feature was installed next to the James Hardie fiber-cement siding. Photo  of Water Features We LoveView Photos

A design-build firm with a flair for modernism—Phil Kean Design Group—created this stylish indoor-outdoor living space in Winter Park. The red door was the resident's idea, says Phil Kean, president of the firm. It adds a spash of color to the front courtyard, which is simply landscaped with gravel and low-maintenance plants. A water feature was installed next to the James Hardie fiber-cement siding.

Modern home with Grass, Trees, Back Yard, Exterior, House Building Type, and Concrete Siding Material. When Belgian fashion retailer Nathalie Vandemoortele was seeking a new nest for her brood, she stumbled upon a fortresslike house in the countryside designed in 1972 by a pair of Ghent architects, Johan Raman and Fritz Schaffrath. While the Brutalist concrete architecture and petite but lush gardens suited her tastes to a tee, the interiors needed a few updates. Photo  of Water Features We LoveView Photos

Smitten from the start with a 1970s concrete villa in rural Belgium, a resident and her designer embark on a sensitive renovation that excises the bad (carpeted walls, dark rooms) and highlights the good (idyllic setting, statement architecture).