Bucket Fountain – Wellington, New Zealand - Atlas Obscura

Bucket Fountain

Referred to as "the crappiest fountain ever," this sculpture has been splashing unknowing passersby since 1969. 

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The Bucket Fountain is a kinetic sculpture situated on a pedestrian walkway in Wellington’s Cuba District. A series of colorful buckets fill with water until they tip, spilling water into the pool below. The clumsy movement of the buckets seems to miss the pool and splash a considerable amount of water on anyone who dares to walk too close. 

Erected in 1969, the fountain was designed by Graham Allardice of Burren and Keen. The sculpture was controversial when it first was installed on Cuba Street. Critics described it as an “engineering joke” and “monstrosity” and became a target for vandalism. Toby Fisher, a British diplomat, described it as “the crappiest fountain ever.” 

Forty-two years later, the fountain has become an endearing symbol to Wellington. In 2003, the Wellington City Council upgraded the fountain, with some buckets turned towards the sidewalk to splash even more water on the ground. 

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